Inside the Scrum: Alumnus Shines

Just two short years since graduating from St. Michael’s College School (SMCS), Stefan Zuliani ’17 is making his mark --- on the field of play.

“St. Michael’s was my first introduction to the sport of rugby and it was where my passion and love for the game began.”

Stefan Zuliani ’17 currently plays for the Queen’s University Rugby Team.
Photo courtesy of: gogaelsgo.com

Zuliani was recently announced as part of the team for Canada’s U20 Roster for the Junior World Qualifier in June 2019. The Thornhill, Ontario native has played rugby at Queen’s University for the past two seasons. Prior to that, he played both rugby and football at SMCS.

“It was the coaches who instilled in me a certain standard of discipline which I still maintain today, which has allowed me to continue to improve and motivate myself to get better every day,” he says.    

Adrian Spagnolo coached Zuliani at SMCS for two years. “The focus of our programme is great team dynamics, more positive coaching and playing experience as teams, which leads us to be successful,” says Spagnolo, who graduated from the school in 2002. 

SMCS Rugby Coach Adrian Spagnolo ’02

“A typical season is a 4-5 day a week commitment for approximately three months,” adds Spagnolo. “Two to three practices per week, a tri or quad game at a meet per week and in-class video analysis and player development conversations,” he says.

For his part, Zuliani believes the lessons and the great experiences he had with all the players during his time at SMCS enabled him to jump to the next level of competition, continue to improve his skills, and now play rugby with the best in the country within his age group.

Stefan Zuliani ’17 in his Grade 12 SMCS Yearbook photo

“It was these same coaches like Mr. Spagnolo who convinced me that I had the talent and ability to play rugby at the next level, encouraging me and instilling in me the confidence to continue my rugby career at the university level.”