Santa Monica Rugby Club  
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Stephen Auerbach

Place of birth:
Los Angeles, California

Position played:
Left Wing and Outside Center

Summary of rugby career:
I started playing rugby at Occidental College as a winger and outside center. We had a solid team that actually came within an inch of beating Church College and UCLA. I scored 3 tries against UCLA and got Dennis Storer’s attention and entered UCLA in 1970 after a failed tryout with the Buffalo Bill’s NFL Football team. I played at UCLA until 1975 where I really learned how to play rugby. We had key international players at hooker, number 8, scrum half, stand-off, outside center, and fullback which combined perfectly with our American styled football speed and power tackling tactics. We had several undefeated seasons and beat UC Berkeley 5 of 6 times as well as touring teams from France, England, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. It was great playing on the best team! We believed we would win every game. We even beat SMRC for the 1975 Monterey Championship. After graduating Medical School, I joined SMRC (1976-1979) which carried the UCLA formula to a new dimension. We owned other teams. It was great to be feared especially by the BATS, Old Blues, Berkeley, and even UCLA. I was very fortunate to play on great teams with great players and coaches that allowed us to shine and reach our talent level. We won 4 Monterey Championships between UCLA and SMRC. I had the opportunity to play on great teams and was "Cappped" as an Eagle in the 1976 match against Australia. Through rugby we learned teamwork, a great work ethic, experienced some of the best times ever, and made friends that would last a life time. I was fortunate enough to be capped as an Eagle in 1976 and played against Australia. Through rugby we learned teamwork, a work ethic, and made friends that would last a lifetime.

First Started Playing Where:
Occidental College, Los Angeles (1966-1969)
UCLA (1970-1975)

Clubs represented and Years:
Santa Monica Rugby Club (1979-1979)

Territorial/National Representative Teams and years:
Southern California All-Stars (1970-1978)

No of Caps (if applicable):
One against Australia (1976)

No of International Matches (if applicable):

Tours: Where, With Whom and Years:
Hawaii - Occidental College (1967)

Australia and New Zealand - University of California All-Stars (1970)
Australia - California All-Stars (1972)
England - UCLA (1974) This was the Infamous streaking of Coach Dennis Storer around the Excelsior Hotel after UCLA defeated Loughborough, the number one English School Team.
Scotland and Ireland - Santa Monica Rugby Club (1976)
Australia - Santa Monica Rugby Club (1978)

Awards and Recognition:
Most Valuable Back - UCLA (1975)

Impact rugby had on your life:
Impact rugby had on your life: Rugby has impacted every aspect of my life. - It was my heart, soul, and identity during my playing years. I was fortunate to play on great teams and learned how to win even when down and out. This has carried throughout my life. I was accepted to UCLA Medical School because of rugby and the help of “Fast Eddy O’Connor.” Being a doctor has been a fantastic profession. And to every rugby player's delight, I was part of the research team that brought Viagra and Cialis to market. Most importantly, I met my beautiful wife, Diane, who has been the best partner, friend, and mother to our two children, Alyssa (30 y.o.) and Charlie (26 y.o.) through rugby

Most inspirational teammate/coach and why:
Dennis Storer coach of UCLA and even when I was at SMRC was a great inspiration and and ever so important in the advancement of American Rugby. He was able to see talent and knew how to use it. Also, he was one Hell of a recruiter.

What wisdom would you pass on to current players:
BELIEF, BELIEF, BELIEF in yourself and as a collective team, will make you a winner. Good talent, hard work, great teamwork, and unshakeable belief are the breakfast of champions! Being in incredible shape allows you to shine. When a mechanized rugby team in superior condition with great technique comes together, you will experience one of the greatest feelings in life, and will become a CHAMPION!

Marital Status (Spouse/Kids names):
I have been happily married to Diane for 33 years. I have been so blessed to have "an easy going," loving partner. We have 2 kids.
Alyssa, 30 years old lives in Hawaii and is in childcare. Charlie,
26 years old lives in Orange County and works as a paralegal in
Long Beach.

Favorite quote:
A quote from Vince Lombardi, “FATIGUE TURNS EVERYONE INTO A COWARD.” I loved winning games in the 76th-80th minute of a game with the other team dragging and waiting for the game to end. Nothing like youth, incredible shape where fatigue is not a factor, and being a Champion.

Medicine. Tennis and biking.

Internet links to anything of interest on the web about the player: M. Auerbach