Former rugby star shines on world stage

Former Sam Houston State rugby player Anwar Salaam is going global, literally. Salaam was selected to the United States National Sevens team that went to Hong Kong to compete in an international tournament earlier this month.

“Being able to play sevens for the U.S. National team is just a great opportunity for Anwar,” said Bearkat rugby coach Wesley Boyd. “You could arguably say that Anwar is one of the top club players in the nation.”

Salaam, who plays club rugby for Charlotte, N.C., played an instrumental role in claiming the Bowl Championship for the U.S., who beat Japan 24-19 in the final. Salaam scored a first half try in the finals and had a hat trick of tries in the semi-final game against China.

“Anwar is a scorer, he is a finisher,” Boyd said. “One of his greatest assets his speed and it plays a major role in his ability to score. His ability to read the game and pass has improved a lot because of the level of competition he is now playing at.”

Salaam was originally brought to Sam Houston on a basketball scholarship and Boyd said after that didn’t work out, some friends persuaded him to come out for the rugby team.

“Anwar didn’t have any rugby experience when he came out for the team, as it is with most of our players,” Boyd said. “I recognized his talent immediately. I invited him to come play club rugby in Auburn, Ga. one summer and he took off from there.”

Salaam was picked up by the National team to play in the final two tournaments of the season, but subsequently the Beijing tournament was canceled due to the recent outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

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