Cal Poly Humboldt men’s rugby’s player Jason Uipi has been named to the 2021 National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) All-American Team, it was was announced earlier this week.
Uipi is a junior who led the way on a Jacks team that fell just shy of reaching the final four of small schools rugby this past season, while also posting a breakthrough win against powerhouse Cal Maritime for the first time in 13 years.
“Jason excelled during league competition in the fall and was an integral piece of the team’s success heading into playoffs,” Humboldt head coach Greg Pargee said. “He has been the glue in our front row now for three years and this honor to be selected as an All-American reflects his leadership on the team and passion for rugby.”
The hooker’s inclusion caps a good offseason so far for the Jacks, who also had three players — Dante Capellano, Logan McDaniel and Isaac Khelo — selected to play in the National Collegiate Rugby All-Star Challenge.
Uipi came to Humboldt to play football and quickly found a home on the rugby team after the university dropped football in 2018.
The junior, who started at nose tackle for the Humboldt football team, is a former rugby academy player and was one of the top-ranked hookers in the country coming out of high school.
“His choice to stay at Humboldt to play rugby was a turning point in the program to solicit top talent to play rugby for us,” Humboldt assistant rugby coach Vincent Celotto said. “We have only lost two league matches while Jason has started for us and the talent pool is increasing for the program.
“It has meant a lot to have his physical presence on the pitch and I can honestly say he plays fearless.”