The Marine Corps has an official new partnership with the 115,000 athlete-strong USA Rugby.

As official partners, Marines will be able to attend rugby training, seminars and championship games as part of the U.S. rugby governing body’s network, and possibly influence some athletes to join the Corps’ ranks.

The commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy, an infantry officer, said in a Marine Corps news article that he was particularly interested in the female rugby division.

“You can’t just throw people in the deep end of the pool and expect them to succeed,” he said. “You have to pull people from the right walks of life ... that’s why you see us here today.”

Kennedy believes both men and women recruited from rugby will have a good chance to succeed as Marines, the news article said.

USA Rugby board member Pam Kosanke said Marines and rugby players have a lot in common.

“The type of character, values and culture we have in rugby ― America specifically ― perfectly aligns with the values of Marines,” she said in the article.

“I don’t know any groups of people who would run harder, faster, or through more brick walls than rugby players, so I was super excited once I heard about it.”

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