Men's rugby under new leadership this season

Lucas Rumball passes the captaincy to longtime friend Michael Douros

Michael Douros hopes to win a fifth-straight OUA Championship during his captaincy.
Michael Douros hopes to win a fifth-straight OUA Championship during his captaincy.

When Lucas Rumball decided to step down as the captain of the men’s rugby team for the 2016 season, he knew he was leaving the role in capable hands. 

Having spent this summer with Rugby Canada, Rumball knew that his growing role with the national team would potentially take away some of his focus from the Gaels.

Rumball trusted his longtime friend and Gaels starting fly-half, Michael Douros, to take the helm. It was only right seeing as the two have played rugby together their entire lives. 

“I have full faith in [him] making the right calls,” Rumball said. 

“It wasn’t set in stone when [Rumball] told me, I was pretty excited,” Douros said. “It’s a great honour to be the captain of Queen’s.” 

During Douros’ time on the team, men’s rugby has had success under the Rumball family leadership. Both Rumball brothers — Lucas last year and his older brother Jacob the year before — have lead the Gaels to OUA championships as part of the team’s four straight titles. Douros hopes for no less during his time as captain. 

“There’s a lot of talk about going for a ‘drive for five’ this year, trying to get the fifth championship in a row,” Douros said. “Obviously that’s our goal every year, to come away with a championship.”

One of the biggest changes he’s seen already through two games is the attention to detail that’s required as a captain.

“You can’t really take any nights off, you’re the leader, guys are looking to you,” he said. “You’ve got to be there to help them out.”

Even though it may seem as if the captain’s role is to inspire, Douros has found that he’s had to make more decisions on the field. 

“The games are a bit more hands on as a captain, you’re making decisions on the field,” he said. “It’s a bit more nerve-wracking obviously, having a lot of pressure and decisions riding on you.” 

However, Douros says he has a good support system on the team to make the transition into this leadership role easier. One of which is Rumball who he considers both a great player and leader and who’s still apart of the team.

“Even though he may not hold the title of captain, he’s still just as involved and helps me out everyday.” 

In terms of his leadership style, Douros says he’ll aim to be a likeable and approachable captain. “I’d say I’m generally liked by everyone — I would hope. I’m definitely not the sternest guy, I’m not going to be yelling at you all the time,” he said.

For Douros, actions speak louder than words.

“I think I’m one that people can look up to, I lead by example for sure.”

“I’m just trying to be a good, likeable guy and try to come away with a championship this year”.

The Gaels will face off against the Laurier Golden Hawks this Saturday on Nixon Field in their home opener. It will be the first time that Douros is the captain during a game on Queen’s soil. 

“We have Laurier this Saturday, it’s our home opener, we have a lot of work to do this week. But we’re pretty confident that we’re going to have a good match this weekend.”

At the end of his rugby career with the Gaels, Douros says he’ll look back on his time on the team with pride. “I want to come away as a good leader that everyone looked up to and a champion. “

The Gaels will continue their drive for five this Saturday at1 p.m. on Nixon Field against the Laurier Golden Hawks.

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