Te'o adjusting to BYU rugby

At one time, Malosi Te'o lined up in the Cougar offensive backfield as a running back. The speedy back from Kahuku High School has since traded in his helmet and pads for the ruck and the scrum as a member of BYU's rugby team.

During the rugby team's rivalry match with Utah on Saturday, wing Malosi Te'o ran roughshod over his opponents, putting his speed to good use.

"You know, it's definitely a different culture that's taken some adjustment for me," Te'o said. "This is an intense sport that keeps me on my toes. I'm never where I quite want to be but the great thing about rugby is it forces you to constantly get better."

By the looks of his performance against Utah, Te'o is well on his way to becoming a very good rugby player for Coach Smyth. As Utah was driving, the Cougars stopped their advance outside BYU's in-goal area.

The middle of the Cougar defense stiffened up, so Utah sought to go outside with the pitch. That's when Te'o read the play and broke on the pitch, intercepting it for a sprint nearly the full length of the rugby field to score a try.

"You know, I think that was just kind of the luck of the draw," said a humble Te'o. "We had a great defense coming in and that guy made the wrong pass at the wrong time and we capitalized on it. It was a good play for us."

In his first rivalry game ever against Utah, Te'o scored a try that helped lifted his Cougars to victory.

"Honestly, that was my first game against Utah," he said. "I'll tell you what, that was intense. I feel like we earned that victory and it was probably one of the sweetest victories we had. I loved it!"

Although Te'o broke off a few long-distance runs, he admits he's still learning the game of rugby.

"I am still learning," he said. "It's a constant learning thing for me. I just keep myself open to improve and learn from these guys because they're so good at it."

While Te'o has come to the rugby field, his teammate Paul Lasike has come over to the football field.

"Yeah, we just swapped," Te'o said with a laugh. "No, Paul is a good player and you can see out here why he's giving football a shot. He's big and fast and I think he'll be good."

While Lasike will give scoring touchdowns a shot, Te'o is well on his way – if the Utah game is any indication – to becoming a try scoring machine for the rugby team.

"I love it," Te'o said. "I'm having a good time over here and I'm just really enjoying myself. I wouldn't trade it for anything."

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