Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Rugby Standout Nominated for Collegiate Player of the Year


JONESBORO — TJ van Rensburg, a sophomore scrumhalf for Arkansas State University’s rugby club team, is a nominee for the 2021 Rudy Scholz Award. The Scholz Award honors the best men’s collegiate player in the nation.

“Coaching TJ is an absolute dream,” said Jake Mizell, A-State’s head coach. “Not only is he an amazing rugby player, he’s also a very good student, as well as a resident assistant for the Northpark Quads. He does a great job of managing all those roles as well as being the team captain.”

Nominees are made up of collegiate players who play highly-competitive 15-a-side rugby for their college. College players who play for other teams are ineligible. Voters can narrow the group to four finalists.

Everyone can go here to vote.
“TJ shows up early and is one of the last guys to leave training. As skilled of a player as he already is, he’s hungry to grow and learn,” continued Mizell. “He’s always looking to build the team up and better his game. On the field TJ is absolutely ruthless. He’s always one step ahead of the opposition and always looking for ways to exploit the opposition. At times, it’s like he’s playing a completely different game and that’s difficult for teams to adapt to.” 

Van Rensburg is from Johannesburg, South Africa. 

“It’s a role that can be very difficult for even the best players to manage. In rugby, the captain is the only person who can communicate with the referee during a game. It’s a fine line of communicating with me, the team, and the referee positively without having it affect the game in a negative manner. TJ excels at this role, and I’m looking forward to the big things ahead for him.” 

TJ van Rensburg
TJ van Rensburg