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Georgia Page. You know the name. She’s the Lindenwood player who earned internet fame by busting her beak in a tackle and getting up to lay another hit in the semifinals of the Women’s Collegiate Rugby Championship a few weeks back.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for her ever since, as the video of her big moment turned viral, garnering around 15 million hits online and mention from such media outlets as Good Morning America, ESPN, BuzzFeed, Australia’s version of The Today Show and online newspaper outlets all over the world.
Page, studying and playing at Lindenwood during the 2014/2015 season, is back in Australia now where she’ll pursue a career in osteopathy. It might come as a surprise that Page, from a rural town in New South Wales, came to the States to play rugby. Back home, she lives a couple of hours away from a club.
Though her time Stateside was fleeting, it will certainly have a lasting impact, and not only on her, but the sport in general.
“It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever done, I reckon,” she said of her year at LU.
If she hadn’t come to America, she never would have broken her nose and gotten up to make the next tackle. Television cameras would have never captured it. And 15 million internet hits would have gone to another cat video instead of toward spreading the gospel of rugby.
“I’ve seen some comments like, ‘now I really want to watch this sport. I’ve never even heard of this, let alone girls doing it.’ So it’s kind of interesting to see that reaction,” said Page. “I think it’s really good. I love the sport, and I hope that others would enjoy it as much as I do.”
Of all the TV, online and print exposure she’s received, it was a post by reality TV star Bam Margera Page most appreciated. It’s all combined to make her pretty recognizable, even as her nose begins to heal.
“I actually had to go get x-rays on my nose,” said Page, “and the guy that was x-raying me was like, ‘were you on TV last night? Oh, you’re the one that broke your nose!”
While Page has shattered the marks set by virtually every other viral video to come out of American rugby, she wasn’t the first Lindenwood player to make a name for herself online this season. Tianna Camous’ highlight video, showing her tackling like an NFL linebacker, garnered hundreds of thousands of hits, too.
“She actually taught me how to tackle,” said Page of her not quite as famous teammate. “I do rub it in her face. She’s proud of me and stuff. If you’ve seen that video, she can put on some big hits. I’m just proud to say she was the one who taught me.”
If nothing else, Page’s clip will be lasting souvenir of her time in the States.
“I was really surprised how much it blew up,” she said. “I really didn’t think I looked that bad out there, but it turned out I had blood everywhere. It’s crazy. Over 15 million people have seen me spitting blood.”