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Schuylkill River better get going. The 2011 club 7s runners up did not enter into the first qualifier tournament in the Mid-Atlantic, and the second one didn’t have enough teams to count, so their appearance at the Wilmington 7s is crucial for them to get back into the MARFU championship tournament in Norfolk, Va.

Schuylkill River star Greg Ambrogi says the team, which has won two non-qualifier tournaments, knows this.

“We have a good squad,” said Ambrogi. “We are actually entering a team in the Qualifier and Open divisions, and I think we can win both. There are a lot of guys challenging for those 12 spots.”

The Schuylkill game plan centers around defense, with a team approach on the defensive side designed to exert pressure, force turnovers, and create scoring opportunities.

“Defense really leads to our offense,” said Ambrogi. “When we go into a tournament we always set the goal of not giving up any tries.”

The Schuylkill River squad that made the national club final in 2011 has welcomed some additional players. Former Temple All American Gareth Jones provides pace and power. And there’s been a Kevin Erskine sighting, too. Erskine was a key player on the USA U20 team that also features Scott LaValla, Shawn Pittman, Zack Test, and Nate Ebner. A high school teammate of LaValla, Erskine played for the USA Selects, but has been out of rugby of late.

“I knew Kevin and was surprised to see him on the list,” said Ambrogi. “But he’s a good player. He brings a lot of physicality to the game and also gives us more options in the lineout and on restarts. It’s great to have him and Gareth on the team, and as I said, we’ve got a lot of competition for places now.”