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Kutztown in an earlier game against Dartmouth. Jack Megaw photo

The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is right around the corner, and the field looks like its best yet. All but one program that’s ever won a tournament which can be construed as a 7s National Championship is involved, more teams won their way to the CRC via qualification vehicles than ever before, and many of those invited have claimed tournament titles this spring.

Life (2011 USA Rugby College 7s), Arkansas State (2012 & 2013 USA Rugby College 7s), Dartmouth (2011 & 2012 CRC) and Cal (2013 & 2014 CRC) account for seven of the eight 7s national titles ever won. The one champion missing is Utah, winner of the inaugural CRC in 2010. The Utes attempted to qualify for this year’s tournament at the Las Vegas Invitational but fell short.

Arkansas State bested 23 other teams at the LVl, Utah included, winning the only open-entry qualifier. Indiana won the Big Ten, claiming the conference’s automatic bid. Alabama shocked the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference, winning its championship and bid. And Clemson finished second to Virginia Tech, a team already invited to the CRC, in the Atlantic Coast championship, claiming that conference’s ticket to Philly.

Additional conference 7s champions include Cal (PAC), Dartmouth (Ivy) and St. Joe’s (Keystone), giving this year’s field six conference champions in total. CRC participants swept that upper echelon of non-conference tournaments during the 2014/2015 season, too, those which routinely attract several highly ranked teams from multiple conferences – LVI (Arkansas State), Battle in the Bay (Cal), ACRC 7s (Kutztown) and West Coast 7s (UCLA).

Several other CRC participants have had great success this season, as well. Kutztown won a remarkable seven tournaments. St. Joe’s won three. Indiana won three. Cal, Dartmouth, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech all won two each. 12 CRC teams won at least one tournament this season, and the field combined for a whopping 26 tournament titles.

Of the 45 major DI-level college 7s tournaments this season, CRC participants won 26. They didn’t compete in at least 11 of those 45 major tournaments, meaning CRC teams won an incredible 76-percent of the tournaments in which they competed throughout the scholastic year.

Even some of the CRC teams that didn’t win a tournament even had good seasons. Temple, for example, finished second in three tournaments. Texas finished second in its conference championship. Clemson finished second in the Atlantic Coast tournament. Boston College finished second in a quality event.

The point is, on paper the 2015 CRC field is as competitive, if not moreso, than any of the competition’s previous incarnations, or any other college 7s tournament in history, for that matter. 

Cal State 7sSacramento, CASan Diego StateSacramento State
Viking 7sBellingham, WAU. VictoriaUBC
Oregon State 7sCorvallis, WAW. WashingtonOregon State
Boise State 7sBoise, IDUtahUtah B
West Coast 7sSan Luis Obispo, CAUCLACal
NCRCEllensburg, WAC. WashingtonW. Washington
Battle in the BaySan Francisco, CACalArizona State
Ivy 7sDartmouthYale
PAC ChampionshipLos Angeles, CACalArizona State
PacWest ChampionshipReno, NVNevadaSacramento State
LVILas Vegas, NVArkansas StateAIC
SIRC ChampionshipSavannah, GAUCFGeorgia Tech
College ClashBrighton, MIBowling GreenMichigan
ACRL SeriesClemson, SCNotre DameVirginia Tech
Stony BrookLong Island, NYDartmouthKutztown
Big XIINorman, OKWest VirginiaKansas State
St. Joe's 7sPhiladelphia, PAKutztownSt. Joe's
Dayton 7sDayton, OHMichiganNotre Dame College
SCRC SeriesGainesville, FLSouth CarolinaTennessee
ACRL SeriesRaleigh, NCKutztownVirginia Tech
Philadelphia Collegiate CupPhiladelphia, PAKutztownMaryland
Empire SeriesLong Island, NYAICStony Brook
SCRC SeriesTuscaloosa, ALSouth CarolinaTennessee
Keystone SeriesMorgantown, WVSt. Joe'sWest Virginia
ACRL SeriesSouth Bend, INIndianaMichigan
Big Ten SeriesAnn Arbor, MIIndianaIllinois
Keystone SeriesShippensburg, PASt. Joe'sTemple
Kutztown 7sKutztown, PAKutztownAIC
ACRL SeriesCollege Park, MDJames MadisonMaryland
Big Ten SeriesIowa City, IANotre DameIowa
NDC Falcon 7sSouth Euclid, OHBowling GreenSt. Bonaventure
Rocky Mountain 7sFort Colilns, COAir ForceColorado State
SCRC SeriesTupelo, MSSouth CarolinaFlorida
ACRL SeriesBlacksburg, VAVirginia TechMaryland
URugby Challenge CupPhiladelphia, PAKutztownTemple
Armory 7sSpringfield, MAAICBoston College
Big Ten ChampionshipChampaign, ILIndiana
Empire SeriesBinghamton, NYKutztownStony Brook
SCRC ChampionshipKnoxville, TNAlabamaMississippi State
Heart of AmericaLawrence, KSArkansas
MAC ChampionshipBowling Green, OHMiamiBowling Green
Keystone SeriesRutgers, NJSt. Joe'sTemple
ACRL ChampionshipCharlotte, NCVirginia TechClemson
Red River ChampionshipAustin, TXTexas A&MTexas
ACRC 7sVirginia Beach, VAKutztownAIC


What about Boston college, they fought hard to get their slot