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DI-A, a competition run by USA Rugby, heralded the return of the University of Utah Thursday. However, Rugby Today has learned the Utes remain devoted to the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup, an independent competition that's schedule usually clashes with the DI-A postseason.
“The University of Utah has a long-standing and proud rugby tradition, and we are happy to welcome them back to our competition and the National Championship Series pathway,” DI-A commisioner Kevin Battle said in Thursday's announcement. “Being an Independent, Utah will have to compete for one of the few coveted at-large Playoff spots, but I’m sure Coach [Mark] Drown and his men will be up for the challenge.”
According the Utah camp, Drown's conversation with DI-A officials was miscontrued.
"The Varsity Cup is our priority," Utah head coach Haloti Liava'a. "There was some miscommunication to where one of our coaches spoke to another coach and wanted to get some interest, and it was blown out of proportion."
Postseason dates have not been released for much of college rugby, but it's entirely possible the Utes intend to compete in both the DI-A and Varsity Cup postseasons.