You are here
The stage is set for USA Rugby's club 7s national championships next weekend in Minneapolis, Minn. On the men's side, the Utah Selects will try and retain their crown from last year, and on the women's side it's the Scion Sirens trying to repeat.
The competition will play out over Saturday and Sunday. Pool play takes place Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m. CT, with the last match beginning at 6:20 p.m. The knockouts follow on Sunday, with the women's and men's finals set for 4:05 and 4:35, respectively. All matches will be streamed live on The Rugby Channel. The top two teams from each pool will reach Sunday's quarterfinals.
In the men's competition there are some newcomers. Optimus is a new side based out of Atlanta that finished second in the South. They enter as the 15th seed and draw the perennially contending Chicago Lions, Life West and Santa Monica in Pool D. The Lions and Gadiators will be favored to get to the knockouts from that stage.
Bulldog Rugby is a Connecticut-based team that's been trying to get to nationals out of the Northeast for a few years. Under former Old Blue head coach Steve Lewis, and with an all-star cast including several college standouts from all over the country, the Bulldogs are making their championship debut. They're joined Pool A by the defending champs, Utah, the Austin Huns, and another newcomer in Beltway Elite. Beltway, not unlike Optimus and Utah, is one of the new regionally-based teams comprised of players from several area clubs that have rose to popularity in recent years.
Pool C is populated by two heavy hitters in Old Blue and Washington Athletic Club. WAC is technically a completely new participant, but for all intents and purposes, it's basically the same outfit of players that's seen Seattle Saracens and Old Puget Sound Beach claim eight national titles, the most by any club. Hometown Metropolis and the Dallas Reds are also in Pool B.
Pool D is made up of the mainstay Denver Barbarians, three-time champion Belmont Shore, and Charlotte and Schuylkill River, two teams who combine for 17 total appearances at nationals. The Barbarians are stacked with national team talent, and Belmont Shore is always a contender.
On the women's side, the only past champions in the mix are Scion, American Rugby Pro Training Center and the San Diego Surfers. Making their debut are Seatttle Atavus and Minneapolis.