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The Las Vegas Invitational remains the ideal opportunity for college and club teams to get started on their spring season.

Space is filling up quickly, said Tournament Director Jon Hinkin, as teams set up challenge matches with opponents of a similar level, but unfamiliar region, and play at the LVI.

Arizona State, Penn State, Mizzou and Chico State are among the college teams slated to appear in Vegas, playing before the USA 7s tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium and then taking in the international 7s event afterward.

“I think we have more depth in our back line than we have ever had, but I think we are a young team and we will have our challenges,” said Arizona State Head Coach Gary Lane, whose team will play Penn State at the LVI a week after taking on Cal and a week before playing Army. Lane said he expects his team to show depth.

“The good news is we have a fantastic recruiting class this year and that bodes well for the future,” said Lane.

What teams like about the LVI is that it provides games players don’t normally get. And because these are challenge matches, they are whatever the coaching staffs want. Is it a best v best? Fine. Is it an open-sub B-side match designed to get the new players involved? No problem.

Fifteens challenge matches are available for club teams, masters, college teams, women’s clubs and women’s colleges, and High School boys and girls.

The LVI is held Thursday February 9-Saturday, February 11 at the Star Nursery Fields and Silver Bowl Sports Complex, both right next to Sam Boyd Stadium.

Stay at one of the four tournament Station Casinos properties, the official hotel of the LVI, and save $200 on your registration fee.

Go to www.lvirugby.com for more info.