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On August 18 and 19 Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo. will host the International Defense Sevens.
This will be a split tournament melding into a single championship. With the Department of Defense changing its rugby emphasis to 7s, the Olympic sport, all five military services will be represented in the Home Teams Pool – Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and perennial 15s Armed Forces champions Air Force.
Meanwhile, the International Pool will feature military teams from around the world. The Australian Army will field 2 teams, while the British will send an Army team and an Air Force team. The pool is rounded out by the French Armed Forces.
Sunday morning starts with a remembrance ceremony honoring those military rugby players who have died, and will feature an F-16 flyover above the stadium before rugby begins again.
In addition, the City of Glendale will have a fireworks show. The show was
originally scheduled for the 4th of July, but was postponed due
to wildfire danger. It will now be shown the night of August 18 following
the pool matches.
The US military sides have all had to make a switch to 7s. Several players have already suited up for an All-Military team that played at the Best of the West 7s near Seattle and the Victoria International 7s in British Columbia.
And they have also made some changes in coaching. Navy has brought in Steve Lynch, who was profiled in RUGBY Magazine for starting an all-ages rugby program at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. USA player Paul Emerick has been brought in to help the Navy team as well.
The US Marines have signed on former USA 7s team captain Matt Hawkins to run their 7s team. Green Beret Mark Drown, who has had a huge influence on rugby in Utah, will run the Army team, while Air Force Academy coach Andy McQuade takes the airmen. Rescue pilot JC McManus will coach the Coast Guard.
The International Defense 7s will be held at Infinity Park August 18 and 19. The ID7 tournament will benefit the Homeland Defender’s Fund, a nonprofit organization providing support for Colorado military members and their families.