US Marine 2Lt Sam Follansbee, a native of Annandale, NJ, and a graduate of the University of
Pennsylvania, stepped out of the courtroom and into the field to represent the Marine Corps in
the 10th Annual All Forces Seven-on-Seven Rugby Tournament in Glendale, Colorado, August 18-22.
Each branch of the Ministry of Defense was represented by a rugby team, as well as, some semi-pro
teams from the UK and Canada.
“It was tough but we played hard considering everyone in the team only knew each other and had only been playing together for a week compared to other branch teams who have been playing together for a while, some of them being semi-professional players,” Follansbee said.
Follansbee grew up playing football as a center linebacker, eventually playing Division
1 college football at the University of Pennsylvania. He had never even heard of rugby
until three years ago when Captain John Webster, the Marine Corps officer who would help lead
him to the idea of commissioning into the Marine Corps, introduced him to the sport.
Follansbee is currently on Individual Loan Reserves until he completes law school at
George Washington, where he is president of the Military Law Society. Follansbee was
placed on temporary active duty this summer to work at the Navy/Marine Corps Tribunal
of Criminal Appeals, where he heard about the Marine Corps rugby team.
“I was working there on behalf of the Marine Corps and the government to discuss
if court-martial convictions are right, and while I was there I learned that the Marine
The Corps rugby team was accepting applications from Marines who wanted to try out, so I submitted
one,” Follansbee said, “When I found out my application had been accepted, I asked to have my
orders extended through the end of August and left for Colorado once the request was accepted.
Tryouts began Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 9 a.m. The trials consisted of two
practices, where players practiced ball handling, tackling and endurance drills, weightlifting and
“The practices were strenuous and difficult, especially the pool workouts which left the body
extremely painful,” said Follansbee, “The facilities at Glendale were exceptional and provided excellent
amenities to help your body recover between and after workouts.
At the end of the trials, cuts were made, and of the 21 Marines who flew to try out, 15 earned a spot on the team, but only 12 Marines made it to the active roster. The team included Marines of all ages and ranks, from Lance Corporals to Majors.
“This tournament is important because it brings us all together, helps us realize what needs to be improved, and brings people together with familiar faces from other branches and
teams while helping to build our small community. For players like Sam who are new to the military rugby community. Greg Meloni, the head coach of the All Marines men’s rugby team, said.
The tournament began on August 20, 2022, with the Marines’ first game being a victory over the Coast Guard, but they lost the rest of the games to the other branches and a team from British Columbia and London in the tournament.
During the tournament, a ceremony was held and players from each team laid wreaths in honor of fallen service members from each branch who played rugby in the past.
“The ceremony put the tournament, the sport and being a Marine in perspective for
me.” Said Follansbee, “I felt honored to be part of the All-Marine team and to compete in this
tournament. Being a Marine is more than just doing your job, and this tournament
showed me that, and it gave me a greater appreciation for the sport and being a Marine.
|Date posted:||31.08.2022 09:43|
|Location:||QUANTICO, Virginia, USA|
|Hometown:||ANNANDALE, NJ, USA|
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