Greg Janowick discusses his rugby career at Tennessee

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No. 1 Tennessee (9-0) will host Clemson (6-1) Saturday in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference (SCRC) Tournament championship game.

Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. EST from Tennessee Rugby Park.

Senior Greg Janowick will play his final game at Tennessee Rugby Park Saturday for the Vols.

Janowick has experienced a lot of memories playing at home, but none bigger than winning the conference championship in 2019, a feat he will try and recapture Saturday.

“There’s really so many memories of playing at the Rugby Park to choose from, but I would have to say winning the championship match in 2019 was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had,” Janowick told Vols Wire ahead of playing his final game at Tennessee Rugby Park. “Achieving such a big accomplishment felt even better because it was with teammates who have all bonded over practice, working out, living with each other, going out to eat together. It was really special.”

2021 University of Tennessee rugby senior day. The Vols defeated Georgia, 67-7, at Tennessee Rugby Park on November 6, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound lock is from Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois.

He started playing rugby during his sophomore year at Barrington after playing on the offensive line in football.

“I began playing rugby my sophomore year of high school when my school had just started a club,” Janowick said. “I joined immediately when the rugby coach pitched to me that I would actually get to run the ball, score, and tackle, which of course, was a really exciting concept for me at the time because I had been playing offensive line on the football team.”

2021 University of Tennessee rugby senior day. The Vols defeated Georgia, 67-7, at Tennessee Rugby Park on November 6, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

Janowick detailed why he left Illinois for Tennessee.

“I like to joke with people, and cite the nice weather as my main reason for coming down here – I’m only half joking because the Chicago winters are terrible,” Janowick said.

He was looking for a balance between good academics, interesting people and a solid rugby club in college.

“UT definitely nailed all three for me,” Janowick said.

Janowick will play his final home game Saturday, but he will pursue a professional career going forward in Major League Rugby.

“I’m definitely going to pursue playing professional rugby,” he said. “Over this last summer I entered the draft, and while I did not get drafted, I did get a call to sign with a club as an undrafted free agent.

“I ultimately had to turn it down to finish school, but I plan to re-enter the draft again in 2022. If I am given the opportunity to play for a professional club again, I will definitely take it.”

Below are photos during Janowick’s career at Tennessee.

Tennessee defeated Georgia, 33-9, in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference (SCRC) Tournament semifinal. The match took place at Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 13, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

Tennessee defeated Georgia, 33-9, in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference (SCRC) Tournament semifinal. The match took place at Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 13, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee rugby senior day. The Vols defeated Georgia, 67-7, at Tennessee Rugby Park on November 6, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

Tennessee defeated Georgia, 33-9, in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference (SCRC) Tournament semifinal. The match took place at Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 13, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

Tennessee defeated Georgia, 33-9, in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference (SCRC) Tournament semifinal. The match took place at Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 13, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee rugby senior day. The Vols defeated Georgia, 67-7, at Tennessee Rugby Park on November 6, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee rugby senior day. The Vols defeated Georgia, 67-7, at Tennessee Rugby Park on November 6, 2021. Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee rugby. The 2021 Tennessee rugby team played Clemson on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at the Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo of the Tennessee-Clemson match is by Dan Harralson of Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee rugby. The 2021 Tennessee rugby team played Clemson on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at the Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo of the Tennessee-Clemson match is by Dan Harralson of Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee Old Boys rugby weekend. The 2021 Old Boys weekend rugby match took place on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo of the 2021 Old Boys weekend is by Dan Harralson of Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee Old Boys rugby weekend. The 2021 Old Boys weekend rugby match took place on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo of the 2021 Old Boys weekend is by Dan Harralson of Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee Old Boys rugby weekend. The 2021 Old Boys weekend rugby match took place on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo of the 2021 Old Boys weekend is by Dan Harralson of Vols Wire.

2021 University of Tennessee Old Boys rugby weekend. The 2021 Old Boys weekend rugby match took place on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Tennessee Rugby Park in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo of the 2021 Old Boys weekend is by Dan Harralson of Vols Wire.

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

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