To some, rugby may seem like it is just a game, but for Audra Fabrizio, it is her one true constant in life.
“Rugby gave me direction, purpose, and intent. It gave me a place where I feel totally myself, celebrated for who I am and what I bring to the table. It helped me find value in myself, in a team, and in living life. In essence, rugby has surpassed the point of playing a minor role in my life: it is the star, the defining feature of myself that I am proudest to show off. To put it simply, rugby is my life.”
In 2016, Audra joined her local club, Downingtown Rugby Football Club, with no prior experience, competing as a wing in the summer 7s, fall 7s, and spring 15s seasons. She couldn’t get enough of the game and continued to play every season following, improving her skills along the way.
In her third season, she blossomed. “She worked and still does work hard to get the most out of every opportunity she gets and can often be found practicing extra on her own time. She did this all with a smile and it was obvious that she did so out of pure enjoyment of the game. I would love to be able to take credit for her rise, but it was overwhelmingly due to her own persistent drive that she was able to develop as well as she has,” said head coach of Downingtown Rugby Football Club, Andrew Fell.
Audra finished the season as the second top try scorer on her team from the outside center position. She was also honored with the Most Improved Player award after helping lead her team to the Pennsylvania U19 Girls D1 state championship titles in both 7s and 15s.
During her final season at the high school level, she continued to excel and earned many honors, including an award for Most Valuable Back, being named to multiple all-tournament teams, and appeared with select sides like the Pennsylvania State All-Stars RCT team. With the Pennsylvania State All-Stars RCT team she was named captain and helped her team win the northeastern conference. That was not the only title she won, as she also helped lead the Downingtown Rugby Football Club to another U19 Girls D1 state championship title in 15s.
Fabrizio states she wants to challenge herself to improvement and becoming the best player she can possible be. She dreams of one day becoming a member of the USA Eagles. She looks forward to the opportunity of traveling the world through the sport and immersing herself into other rugby cultures.
After graduating from Downingtown STEM Academy in 2019, she was recruited to play collegiate rugby at Queens University of Charlotte. She plans on double majoring in sustainability studies and international studies with an intent of joining the Peace Corps following graduation. Long term, Audra would like to become a part of a non-profit organization where she can continue to give back and make the world a better place.
Despite having connective tissue disorder, causing widespread joint pain, hypermobility, and migraines, Fabrizio has viewed the diagnosis as a challenge not an obstacle. Her love for rugby cannot be rivaled and she is living for every second on the pitch, especially at the next level for Queen University of Charlotte.
“Her commitment to her rehabilitation program due to an ACL injury is one of the best cases I have ever seen. I see her working to heal and get stronger each and every time I visit the training room. Prior to the injury, she was performing at a very high level in training and competition, so we are very much looking forward to having her back on the pitch soon. Her teammates love competing and training with her and we are extremely fortunate to count her on our roster,” said Katie Wurst, Director of Rugby at Queens University of Charlotte.