Warrior Sagas: Get to know Bailey Wilson
Here at the Utah Warriors, we recognize the value in our players and staff and their personal stories. Each is unique and brings their specific talents and experiences to the organization, enhancing the value of the team. Without them, there is no Utah Warriors!
In light of this, we wanted to allow you, Warriors Nation, the opportunity to get to know the players, coaches and staff, whom you love and support, a little better. Enter the “Warrior Sagas,” a multi-series in which we will highlight an individual player or staff member, a Warrior, on multiple platforms to share their stories with you.
A player who comes to mind when thinking of those who started playing in their youth and worked their way up to professional rugby is Bailey Wilson.
Wilson had a very early introduction to the game. He grew up in Sydney, Australia, and his entire family, both parents and three older brothers, all played rugby. He began playing rugby at age 4 because he wanted to follow in their footsteps.
“After school every day, we’d always be out in the front yard of the house playing with the neighborhood kids until the sun went down, and then mum called us back in for dinner,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s father initially signed him up to play without his mother’s consent. She was away at a wedding when registration for the club near their house was going on.
“My mum didn’t really want me to play, just because I was so young at the time,” Wilson said. “It was registration week at the local club. I kept like pestering my dad. He signed me up without my mum’s permission, while she was over at this wedding.”
Wilson played in Australia until he moved to Utah at age 14. Once here, he played for the United Rugby Club in Alpine, Utah throughout his high school career.
He was then selected for the state team, the Utah Cannibals, where he received the proper exposure to be chosen for the High School All-Americans and U20’s. He moved on to Utah Valley University in 2018, where he played a season before joining the Warriors for the 2020 season.
“It’s actually very fortunate in Utah that we have a lot of youth players,” Wilson said. “It’s great that there’s a lot of competition … That competition is what helps everyone get better. It’s a great time for rugby in the U.S., and especially in Utah.”
In Las Vegas on February 15, 2020, Wilson faced off with his older brother, Mitch Wilson, in the Warriors’ match against the New England Free Jacks. Mitchell is a fullback for the Free Jacks, and the Warriors came out on top, 39-33.
The match was the first time Wilson had played against his brother, as they were always on the same team growing up.
“It was just funny looking up and seeing him in a different colored jersey,” Wilson said. “It was pretty cool, and I’m glad we won that game. Now I’ve got the bragging rights at every family function.”
Wilson is in the process of preparing himself for the upcoming 2021 preseason. He is training, studying hard, watching film and staying up-to-date on current rugby news around the world. However, he is focusing on making sure he’s physically ready.
“Yeah, mostly just training, so that way preseason isn’t as crazy as it was last year,” Wilson said.
He is hoping the Warriors can continue their momentum from last year, as their last game together before COVID-19 ended the season early was their epic, 10th-minute stoppage-time victory over two-time MLR-defending champion, the Seattle Seawolves. Wilson is hoping the team can bring back the MLR Championship title to Utah in 2021.
“I’d love to just build off of last year and just keep that momentum in an upward trend,” Wilson said. “That would be awesome. And then, hopefully, bring a trophy back to Utah.”
To hear more of Wilson’s story, watch the full video here.
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