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Today is was announced that The University of Southern California, Stanford University and Santa Clara University are the first three schools admitted to the Silicon Valley International 7’s College Rugby Challenge, which will be part Silicon Valley International 7’s rugby weekend at San Jose’s Avaya Stadium on Saturday, November 4th and Sunday, November 5th. The college field will serve as a great compliment to the elite international matchups which will be featured throughout the weekend.
“Rugby is the fastest growing intercollegiate team sport in the US, and we are proud to announce the first three entrants into our college field,” said Tournament Director Jon Hinkin. “There is no doubt that the next U.S. Olympic team will be made up of the college stars of today, and we are proud to be able to give these rising athletes such a great forum alongside most of the elite rugby nations of the world.”
USC Rugby was founded all the way in 1886 and is one of the biggest and most competitive tier-1 club sports at USC. Trojan Rugby participates in the Division I-A PAC Rugby Conference. From 1988 to 2014, the team was coached by the legendary Dave Lytle, who started his rugby at USC in 1983 and continued to play until 1986. In 2015, USC Rugby introduced Dominic Riebli as Director of Rugby and Laloa Milford as the new head coach. In his first year, the Trojans finished second in the GCR and was invited to D1-AA national playoffs.
The Stanford Men’s Rugby Team was founded in 1891, and has played continuously since 1906. Over their proud 100 plus year history, the Stanford Rugby program has produced All-Americans, Stanford Hall of Fame members, USA National Team Players, Olympic Gold Medal Winners, and won numerous National Championships. Today the team competes in intercollegiate competition in Olympic 7’s Rugby in the fall, and 15’s Rugby in the winter in the Pacific Mountain Conference.
SCUTS (Santa Clara University Touring Side) is one of the fastest growing programs on the west coast and is looking to improve its results and quality of intercollegiate play after qualifying for the USA &s National Tournament in 2017. They return a majority of their players for 2017-18, many from elite Bay Area clubs.
The rest of the field will be announced in the coming weeks.
The international field for the weekend will mark the first time that squads from the Island nations of Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, will be in the same event since the 2007 USA Sevens. It is also the first time the Irish National Sevens squad will play in the United States and will be the last international tune-up for rising nations Canada and the United States, as well as traditional powers like New Zealand, Japan and Australia, as they ready for the 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series. The Silicon Valley International 7’s will also mark the first time the Chinese National team will appear in the United States. England and Chile will round out the field.
In addition to 34 international men's matches, and 20 collegiate matches, an international cultural festival, along with an Island concert series will be held to celebrate the weekend.
Silicon Valley International 7s adds another international tournament to United World Sports' growing portfolio that includes the annual USA Sevens Rugby tournament in Las Vegas, which is the largest professional rugby event in North America and the annual Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia, the premier collegiate Rugby 7s championship.
Avaya Stadium, which opened in February 2015, has a capacity of approximately 18,000 and is the home field for Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes. United World Sports has also partnered with the City of San Jose, the San Jose Sports Authority and the Fairmont Hotel, which will serve as the official partner and team hotel.
Tickets are available via Ticketmaster or SevensRugby.com or call Avaya Stadium at 408-556-7700.