Alessandro Mares the young and rising rugby star

Alessandro+Mares

Angelina Estrada

Alessandro Mares posing with the Mexican National Rugby Team uniform on in front of the Plaza Olimpica Don Mario Vazquez Raña

Joel Carpio, Staff Writer

Alessandro Mares is a professional rugby player that got selected to represent and play for the Mexican National Rugby Team and’s now reaping the rewards of his hard work and dedication to the sport.

At the beginning of his rugby journey, Alessandro wasn’t always passionate about the sport, oftentimes he wanted to quit, but it grew on him and became the sport he loved most.

“I discovered Rugby at the young age of 8,” Alessandro Mares said, “My mom didn’t want me to play tackle football and I’ve always loved physicality so being able to step into a sport and be able to physically abuse someone without repercussion is what I live for.”

“At first, I had no choice but to play due to my parents being big advocates for the sports I had to play, and at times I’d have my moments of wanting to quit but wasn’t allowed to,” Mares said

“I’m very thankful to my parents for pushing me to my limits because when I was 11, that’s when I realized rugby is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Alessandro said.

“I always dreamed of playing a sport for however long I could and in the 6th grade I knew it was rugby.”

The athletically gifted Alessandro attended Saint Anthony High School for his freshman year then transferred to San Pedro High School where he would continue playing sports.

“Growing up I was always involved in sports, I played Rugby, Football, Baseball, and soccer,” Mares said, “When I got to high school, […] it was the last year, I was able to play all those sports at the same time.”

Going into his senior year of high school, Alessandro was a highly touted recruit for rugby and had multiple offers on the table from various universities, except his skills and raw knack for rugby set him aside from the rest.

“I’ve always had the dream to go pro and I always knew I was going to have to play at the college level,” ” Alessandro said, “I began seriously thinking about that as soon as I found my love for the sport.”

“Coming out of high school I was a high-ranked recruit for rugby, I had offers to Long Beach State, Mount Saint Mary’s, Marian University and Norco College,” Mares said.

“I ultimately chose Marian for the offer they were giving me.”

A testament to his hard work, Alessandro was invited to try out for the Mexican National Rugby Team and to his avail, that night he found out he made the team.

“I was invited to a tryout the weekend after thanksgiving break and I was in talks with the coaches before that but was never mentioned to come,” the skilled football player said.

“Until that week came and they emailed me for a tryout. That night when we finished the tryouts a list was sent and I saw my name.”

“Being able to play for my motherland is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid,” he said, “I knew from a very young age that there weren’t many Mexicans playing rugby and that I could do something serious with the sport.”

Alessandro wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the overwhelming support, love and guidance from his profound parents Vanessa Mares and Ignacio Mares.

“My parents have been an absolute blessing to me since birth. They have given me nothing but support along the way,” he said, “I couldn’t be where I’m at without them.”

“When I got invited to Mexico for the tryouts, I had to pay for the plane ticket and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to buy it,” Alessandro added, “I told my parents and as soon as the call ended I got an email from my mom with my boarding information and all.”

Alessandro Mares said, “So for them to just drop money on a very pricey ticket and not complain made me want to play for Mexico even more.”

The future couldn’t appear to be any brighter for Alessandro as he works towards his goals and dreams of playing professionally and graduating from Marian University with a Bachelor’s and eventually earning his Masters in counseling.

Alessandro said, “So now that I debut in Mexico, I am now considered a Professional. However, I want to be able to either play in the MLR (Major league Rugby) or play overseas somewhere.”

“I plan on playing In the Rugby World Cup if given the opportunity,” he added.