O Captain, My Captain

Meet the New Captain of the Women’s Rugby Team: Samantha Ewing

The fifth year veteran, Samantha Ewing enters her final year of eligibility as the captain of the most dominant team at Concordia so far this season. Photo Brianna Thicke

Off the field, you would never know that she was the captain of Concordia’s most successful team this season so far. But on the rugby pitch, Samantha Ewing is a force to reckon with—one of Concordia’s top players.

As a fifth year player, Ewing is no stranger to the Stingers’ rugby program and its head coach, Graeme McGravie. It was an easy choice to make her captain this year.

“It feels good, definitely a little more pressure than I was thinking,” Ewing said on being the leader of the squad. “I think it’s working out because we have a lot of strong leaders on the team.”

“[Samantha] is a great person on and off the field and she really takes the responsibility to heart. She’s played under good captains before so she knows what her role is,” McGravie said.

Despite not being captain before training camp, Ewing was already making her case for the choice, as was evidenced by her actions at training camp. She was instrumental in integrating rookies into a veteran team.

“[Ewing] took it upon herself to make sure everyone knew who the rookies were, she walks around and introduces herself to new people,” McGravie said. “We were debating who the captain was going to be before the camp started and we noticed in the first couple
of hours, she had taken on that leadership role by herself.”

“[The team] did a pre-season tour and one little fun thing we did was we had all of them make these little Styrofoam toy bees,” Ewing said. “It’s just a little fun thing to make them feel a part of the team.”
This early in the season, Ewing already feels that the locker room is more connected than in previous years.

“It’s a really positive group culture, compared to other years—not saying that it’s been negative other years—but sometimes I just feel like there’s a separation from the backs and the forwards,” she said. “This year our whole style of play is focused on working together, so it carries through on every part of the team.”

Photo Brianna Thicke

Ewing’s journey to the sport of rugby started in high school, and her skill in the sport was always apparent.

“Sports were mandatory. In the spring I could choose either between softball, track and field and rugby,” Ewing said. “It was a natural choice for me to do a bit more of a competitive sport and physical.

“I just loved it right away, been hooked ever since,” she added.

Her journey to Concordia wasn’t always a forgone conclusion, but McGravie had already scouted her during her high school days and was aware of her talent and leadership qualities.

“In high school, when I recruited her, she was the captain there and she led by example,” McGravie said. “She was one of the most sought after recruits when she was coming out of high school.”

“The first day I met her I was like ‘Whether it’s on a rugby pitch or whether it’s off a rugby pitch, whatever she wants to do in her life, she’s going to be able to do it,’” McGravie continued.

The concept of being a “born leader” gets tossed many times in all sports; she embodies the term wherever she goes by the way she acts on and off the field.

“A quiet unassuming leader, not the ‘rah-rah’ type that’s for sure,” McGravie said. “She leads by example and people just follow her.”

Ewing has a humble approach to her new role on the team—she believes that leadership is something that should be shared.

“A leader is only as good as the people around there, so I feel like this year has been so great so far because we have such a great team together,” said Ewing. “We have so many strong leaders on the team, it’s not a strong pressure on one individual.”

Off to a roaring start that’s seen the team outscoring their opposition 166-24 in their first three league games of the season, the team shows no signs of slowing down in their quest for a national championship.

“We want to win RSEQ finals,” Ewing said on the goals for the upcoming season. “We want to make it to nationals and hopefully win that as well.”