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The changes in the club structure, while not coming into effect until next year, are already having an effect on some clubs and leagues.
The South DI league, for example, has been struggling to get their league together almost every year. For the 2012-2013 season, things are a little more settled. With the Super League disbanding and re-forming as a cup, Life University will be in the South DI along with Charlotte, New Orleans, and the Atlanta Renegades.
Those four are certainly the most dependable DI clubs in the region.
Life has a huge stable of players, both graduate and undergraduate, and should have little trouble fulfilling their fixtures even if they have DI club, Super League Cup, and D1-A games all on the same weekend.
“It’s better than sitting at home and having no games at all,” said Director of Rugby Dan Payne.
Life will participate in all of those competitions, and in addition the Running Eagles have already found club interested in playing games with them.
“We need matches,” said Payne, who has been running his top 28 players, college and club, together during August and September to get them in position to challenge for honors (such as the ARC) later in the fall.
“We want to develop players, but to do that we need to get them as many games as possible,” said Payne. “We know it’s difficult, and the club structure thing is tough. But what do you, as a coach, tell a player who’s getting steamrolled by the opposition? Do you tell him to just throw up his hands and give up? No, and we’re not going to do that.”
Life’s college team is expected to play a long list of top programs, and their club team is already in talks with various Super League clubs about playing a series during the fall.
It’s likely, with the rigidity of the Super League season falling away, some teams might be able to plan a more satisfying list of fixtures on their own.