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Varsity Cup - Saturday, May 6, U. Cal-Berkeley will play Arkansas State for the Varsity Cup college championship at Santa Clara's Stevens Stadium. (www:Varsitycup.us). Kick off at 3 p.m. with NBC Sports tape delay at 10:30 p.m., also on Saturday.
Marks Arkansas State's first Varsity Cup finals. Cal has been in all past Varsity Cup contests.
College Men's D1A final - Saturday, May 6, Saint Mary's versus Life University at Saint Mary's Pat Vincent Field, Moraga, California. Game time is 4 p.m. PT, with television coverage on CBS Sports at 7 p.m. ET and also aired on The Rugby Channel for subscribers.
The fifth D1A final in a row between these same two fifteens.
The four 2017 college finalists - Only US college rugby could produce such a varied lineup of these four disparate and diverse finalists. The club sport dynamic, unique to rugby, and unencumbered by NCAA rules and regulations, facilitated the recruitment and training of these high quality teams with different histories and enrollments.
California - The rugby tradition dates back to the late 19th century, continued in the years between 1905 and 1914 when far western colleges played rugby and not gridiron, and flowered and realized itself from the 1980s onward with repetitive national championships. Under the aegis of Head Coach Jack Clark, and, later, joined by coach Tom Billups, the Golden Bears have maintained the gold standard of American college rugby programs.
Saint Mary's - Rugby began in 1888, and has been one of the dominant sports at this small, East Bay California college. Success can be traced to former All Black Pat Vincent who began coaching in 1968. Vincent established a vital and dynamic rugby program that continued afterward by coach Marty Storti. In1988, the school hired Tim O'Brien and John Everett, two former Eagles, whose mission continued the previous decades’ success.
Life University - The university began rugby in 1980, and has experienced success at fifteens and sevens. It features two colleges: the College of Chiropractic (D.C. Doctor of Chiropractic) and the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. Founded in 1974, rugby offered the school a way to attract male students interested in a contact sport that could be played on an informal club level.
Arkansas State - Founded in 1909, the school did not become an official university until 1969. It has participated in NCAA athletics with success in football (Pecan Bowl) and track. Triple Jump Olympian gold medalist Al Joyner is an alumnus. Once rugby appeared on campus, the Red Wolves actively recruited players for the club. Current Coach, Shaun Potgieter from South Africa, a five-time USA All American and alumnus, leads the school into its first Varsity Cup final.
Good luck to all four teams.