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Norman, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma has been selected as the 12th college rugby team to join the Varsity Cup.
As a successful NCAA university with rich athletic traditions in the Big 12 conference, Oklahoma joins BYU, Cal, Central Washington, UCLA, Air Force, Navy, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Texas, Clemson and Utah in the Varsity Cup for the next two years.
“The Sooners invitation to join the Varsity Cup for 2014 and 2015 competition was extended after a competitive process that put importance on university programs that had a solid foundation, demonstrated improved performance on the field and were well supported by their institution and athletic department,” said BYU rugby coach David Smyth, who helped found the Varsity Cup.
The Oklahoma Sooners come off a successful fall season where they won a conference title in rugby 7s.
"Collectively, we see the Varsity Cup as the post-season competition which can bring Oklahoma rugby to new heights," said Oklahoma Head Coach Jason Horowitz. "It's is a perfect fit for where we want to take the rugby program.”
Oklahoma also plays in the Allied Rugby Conference (ARC) with other teams from Oklahoma and Texas. They will continue to compete in the ARC while also playing in the Varsity Cup.
"We remain committed to the Allied Rugby Conference as our regular season competition,” said Horowitz. “Regular-season conference play is likewise important to our view of the future. The University was both supportive as well as encouraging that the Varsity Cup was the right post-season for us. We're looking forward to bringing the OU athletic brand to the Varsity Cup."
The Varsity Cup (varsitycup.us) is a 12-team post-season competition with three preliminary rounds in April which culminate in a championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah May 3.
The final will be broadcast live by on NBC Sports Network in conjunction with NBC Sports partner United World Sports, the competitions organizer and promoter.