Rugby attracts many crossover athletes but it’s tough to imagine that Stanford recruited anyone so decorated as Sveinsson. The Texas native came to Palo Alto to run track. She is a former national champion in the mile and two-mile, and her accolades reflect the buzz she built while in high school. Life took a couple of turns, and track didn’t work out for Sveinsson, who then found rugby in her junior year (2014).

Sveinsson found a unique home on the pitch. She was strong enough for front row and fast enough to flow into the backline. She became a unique weapon, and her abilities didn’t escape national scouts. After two years on the pitch, the prop didn’t know what role rugby would play in her future, but then she was invited to a National All Star Competition (NASC), where she co-captained her collegiate team, and then was selected for the Atavus All Stars that played the Ontario Storm.

“Leading up to graduation, I knew that I still wanted to play rugby,” Sveinsson recalled. “How much rugby would be a part of my life and what it would look like, did not solidify until I attended NASC where we heard from Eagles how they managed the work-rugby-life balance.”

Sveinsson got the exposure she wanted through New York Rugby Club and the Northeast Academy. Having relocated to New York City after accepting a summer position with The Bronx Defenders, Sveinsson spent her days as a policy and community organizing intern, and her evenings and weekends training with elite teams. Those commitments, stressed by a diminishing fellowship grant and housing woes that would follow her across the country, eventually reached a crescendo.

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