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second of three Mid-Atlantic qualifiers kicks off Saturday in Wilmington,
Del. It will be the first qualifier for defending champs Schuylkill this
summer, and they have some catching up to do in points.
The Maryland Exiles currently sit atop the MARFU 7s standings after winning the first qualifier. Their roster will look considerably different this week, though, with several exciting players expected to make their Exile debut this summer.
Two hail from the Maryland Terrapins -- Matias Cima and Trevor Tanifum. Tanifum electrified the crowd at the Collegiate Rugby Championship earlier this month, and Cima was the glue that held together the Terp squad that finished second in the consolation bracket.
Also joining the Exiles are Alfred Qaranivalu and J’son Townes. Qaranivalu plays in the Super League with Life and is a dazzling 7s guy, and Townes has played for both OMBAC and Belmont Shore. Townes should be around all season for the Exiles, while Qaranivalu’s availability is still unknown.
With those four additions this weekend, the Exiles could be capable of knocking off Schuylkill River.
“We’re looking good and getting better and we’re feeling pretty good about playing teams like Schuylkill,” said Exiles coach Chris Harvey. “We’ve got a great amount of team speed. A little too much youth. I’d like to see more seasoned guys.”
The Exiles will add some experience for the next qualifier when they get Iosia Luka back. He was injured last summer. Healthy now, he will give the Exiles more punch up front.
“He will round out our experienced players in the forwards,” said Harvey. “With Owen Lentz, Iosia and J’son Townes, I don’t know if there’s a more experienced three guys in the forwards.”
Schuylkill, with Greg Ambrogi, Gareth Jones and Will Knipscher, are still the favorites until anyone knocks them off, but the Exiles, along with Washington, Pittsburgh and Norfolk, are in line to take their shot.
|Lehigh Valley RFC|
|Maryland Exiles II|
|Schuylkill river II|
|Schuylkill river III|
|NOVA women I|
|Philly Whitemarsh Women 1|
|MD Exile Women|
|Severn River Women Panads|
|NOVA women II|
|Philly Whitemarsh Women 2|
|Severn River Women Panads II|