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Arkansas State in 2015 LVI final. Jack Megaw photo

The pools have been released for the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship qualifier division at the Las Vegas Invitational. The field consists of a diverse group of schools, ranging from small colleges to large universities. All are coming with the same goal, earning an invitation to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship in June.

There is a record 28 teams participating in this year’s competition. The teams will compete in pool play on Thursday, being divided into seven pools of four teams. The seven pool winners plus one wildcard will advance to the cup rounds on over the weekend. The final will take place inside Sam Boyd Stadium in between HSBC World Series matchups on Saturday.

A number of quality programs have made their way to Sin City and it should prove to be a strong weekend of rugby. Notre Dame College (NDC) returns to the fray after a try at the death kept it out of the CRC last year. It will be no easy ride back to the finals, however. With the likes of Central Washington, Lindenwood and Lindenwood-Belleville, and a myriad of other schools, the competition will be one of the most fierce it has been since the LVI became a Penn Mutual CRC qualifier.

In the first ever LVI qualifier Life edged a talented Utah squad. Two years ago, Arkansas State took home the coveted spot with a victory over American International College. Last year, Utah stymied the field and won a dramatic last second victory over NDC. In 2017, there will be a new winner as both Life and Arkansas State received invitations already and Utah has elected to forgo the LVI. The question is who will it be?

Pool APool BPool CPool D
Central WashingtonNotre Dame CollegeLindenwoodWheeling Jesuit
BuffaloHarvardSt BonaventuresUtah Valley U
TulaneColgateColoradoNortheastern
GeorgetownMillersvilleUNLVDixie State
Pool EPool FPool G
James MadisonLindenwood-BellevilleGrand Canyon
ClemsonSanta ClaraNew England College
Michigan StateWestern MichiganUtah State
Montana State UCollege of IdahoColorado State Pueblo