Syracuse man on USA's Rugby World Cup team

Martwain Johnston, from Syracuse, is on the USA team for the Rugby World Cup. (Allene Rachal Photography)

Stephan Johnston is a proud father, whose mission is letting Central New Yorkers know about rugby, and that his son is a world-class rugby star.

Martwain Johnston is on his way to Australia, to play on Team USA in the Rugby World Cup team. The first match is October 28th, against Fiji.

Stephan says he had no idea his son would be a world cup athlete, though Martwain was always into sports. At Syracuse's Fowler High School, he ran track and played football. He also played football at the University of Delaware, and got into rugby after becoming fascinated by the Playstation rugby game.

Martwain qualified for the World Cup team by shoing his skills in international competition, against Jamaica and Canada. He plays wing, roughly equivalent to Wide Receiver in football. He shared his love of the game with us, saying it's very underratedon how much of an athlete you have to be to play. Rugby is much more fast-paced than football (almost no time-outs). He says a child's game, 'toss up, ' played 'back in the 'cuse' was similar.

Martwain lives in Delaware, where he works overnight for the US Postal Service. The World Cup means he'll be away from home several weeks, but he says when his supervisors heard he'd made the team, they told him he had to take it. The job will be waiting for him when he comes home.

Stephan's mission right now is to tell as many people as he can about his son, and about Rugby, and about the World Cup. 14 teams have qualified, they'll each play two games in the first round. After Jamaica, USA faces Italy in early November. "Martwain on the team, and they got a pretty good team," he tells us. "I'm sure the USA Team will give it to 'em.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off