Editor's Note: These rankings are for the teams that are estimated to participate. Until a team enrolls or participates, inclusion of teams is speculative
A pair of powerhouse clubs out of Atlanta took the first Southern Conference 7s qualifier this weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. The Atlanta Harlequins defeated Phoenix Rugby (Florida), 19-17 in the Music City 7s Women's Final, while Old White defeated an emerging Southern Pines side, 34-21 in the Men's Final.
The 7s working group of the Performance Game Board has unanimously approved a request by New Orleans Rugby to participate in the Red River 7s Series.
Prior to reaching the 7s working group, the request to change regions was approved by the True South GU, the Southern Conference (by agreement to concur with True South), the Red River CR, and the Texas Rugby Union. New Orleans will remain a member of the True South GU but participate in the Red River 7s Series.
Editor's Note: These rankings are for the teams that are estimated to participate. Until a team enrolls or participates, inclusion of teams is speculative.
Lafayette, Colo. – Thirty-one qualifying tournaments will determine the 32 men’s and women’s teams participating in the 2018 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship, USA Rugby announced on Monday.
“We’ve seen a tremendous energy behind the 7s restructure so far,” noted Erik Geib, USA Rugby’s Club Dept. Manager. “Last year had 47 tournaments, which the group [the 7s Working Group of the Performance Game Board] thought was far too many. It’s a goal of those passionately involved in the sevens game to up the quality of play, and it’s believed that will be accomplished by having teams play each other in higher-quality events.”
To further aid the goal of producing higher-quality events, the men’s eastern and western open qualifiers have also been awarded, with Northern Virginia Rugby (NOVA) hosting the Eastern Open at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA, and the Northern California GU hosting the Western Open at San Francisco Golden Gate’s Ray Sheeran Field facility on Treasure Island in San Francisco, CA. Northern Virginia is one of the most successful clubs in Club 7s history, appearing in the finals event 19 times (tied for second-most all-time) – including a championship in 1996. Treasure Island is also no stranger to 7s, having hosted the Club 7s finals event 5 times (2008-2012) as well as numerous Northern California qualifiers and high-quality collegiate events.
LAFAYETTE, COLO. – After the launch of the Performance Game Board in 2017, changes are now underway in the performance 7s competition landscape thanks to the hard work of the 7s working group created by the board.
"The 7's working group on the Performance Game Board was tasked with looking at potential improvements to all aspects of domestic Club 7s and following are the recommendations,” said Steve Lewis, 7s working group chair. “We believe that the new qualification process on the men’s side will deliver the most competitive tournament possible, showcasing more of the country's best teams and players, and that the eligibility changes will simplify life for players, coaches and administrators alike"
With that in mind, the group – comprised of 7s specialists such as Lewis, Chris Ryan, Howard Kent, Joanne Liu, Patrick McNally, and Erik Geib – have announced their first round of proposed changes to the 7s senior competition format.
Starting in 2018, the following adjustments have been proposed for the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship:
After review of the previously-decided date, the 7s working group has also confirmed that the 2018 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship will remain the weekend of August 11-12. The location for the event will be announced no later than March 19, and all bids for the event must be received by USA Rugby no later than February 26.
The champions of the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship are enshrined on the Emil Signes Cup. The cup is in dedication to Emil Signes, a pioneer of Rugby 7s for the men and women of the United States of America.
Date: August 12-13, 2017
Location: National Sports Center, Blaine, Minnesota
Men's Final Standings
1. Rugby Utah Selects
2. Denver Barbarians
3. Washington Athletic
4. Belmont Shore Rugby
5. Old Blue of New York
6. Bulldog Rugby
7. Chicago Lions
8. Life West Gladiators
9. Dallas Rugby
10. Metropolis Rugby
11. Santa Monica Dolphins
12. Optimus Rugby
13. Charlotte Rugby
14. Beltway Elite
15. Schuylkill River Exiles
16. Austin Huns
Women's Final Standings
1. Seattle Atavus
2. San Diego Surfers
3. Life West Gladiatrix
4. Scion Sirens
5. New York Rugby
6. American Rugby Pro Training Center
7. Chicago Lions
8. Northern Virginia Rugby
9. Glendale Merlins
10. Orlando Rugby
11. Beantown Rugby
12. Austin Valkyries
13. Minneapolis Rugby
14. Atlanta Harlequins
15. Philadelphia Rugby
16. Tempe Ninjas
BLAINE, Minn. - The Rugby Utah Selects' 22-21 come from behind win in the Cup Finals earned the squad its second consecutive USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship, while ending the Denver Barbarians' sevens season in heartbreaking fashion.
The Barbarians put themselves in a hole when Landon Peterson was sent to the sin bin, and the Selects took advantage by connecting a few accurate offloads that sent Joseph Nicholls into the try zone for the game's first points.
Soon both teams would have to rely on just six players, though. A pass too high for Maximo de Achaval's reach forced Denver's leader into the air to make the catch, and Eagle Sevens athlete Don Pati hit de Achaval before he returned to the ground. The offense put Pati on the bench for two minutes, and Michael Al-Jiboori made Utah pay, as he backed himself on the way to a converted try.
The sevens action begins Saturday, Aug. 12, and 86 of the total 96 matches will air live on The Rugby Channel, while the remaining 10 will be available on TRC for re-air.
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Sixteen men's teams have qualified for the 2017 Club 7s National Championship, but only one will raise the Cup Sunday, Aug. 13 at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. The sevens action begins Saturday, Aug. 12, and 86 of the total 96 matches will air live on The Rugby Channel, while the remaining 10 will games be available on TRC for re-air.
Rugby Utah Selects, Bulldog Rugby, Beltway Elite and Austin Huns
The Selects of Rugby Utah have a legitimate case to be labeled the team to beat this weekend. After all, the squad won last year's Club 7s National Championship in the National Development Academy's first-ever appearance. Rugby Utah's attack ought to be as relentless as it was in 2016 when Club 7s Dream Team member Jared Whippy made winning restarts look easy, and tournament MVP Don Pati ran circles around defenses. Both are back with the team in 2017, and are joined by Jared' brother Joshua, as well as University of Utah All-Americans Chad Gough and Gabe Ruflin.
Considering the Bulldogs had to battle Old Blue, Mystic River and the New York Athletic Club for two Atlantic North spots to Nationals, few outside the Bulldog camp expected the team from Connecticut to finish in the top-two of that four-team field. However, respected rugby mind Stephen Lewis took over as head coach at the beginning of the summer, and the team's results continuously improved as the summer progressed. Lewis' impact has no doubt been felt, but it also helps having capped Eagles Tim Stanfill and Lorenzo Thomas, as well as collegiate standouts Corey Jones (University of Arkansas) and Jihad Khabir (American International College).
The 2017 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship will take place Aug. 12-13 at the National Sports Center in Minneapolis. All matches from the two-day championship event will air on The Rugby Channel.
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The 32-team field for the Aug. 12-13 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship is solidified after July 29's Midwest and Pacific North Regional Championships qualified three more teams for Nationals.
MIDWEST 7S CHAMPIONSHIP
Youngbloodz Rugby's legacy as one of the best women's sevens programs in the country lives on - but under a new name. The newly formed Minneapolis Rugby 7s, which is essentially the Youngbloodz's player pool competing under a new brand, won the Midwest 7s Championship over the weekend, and will make its first appearance at Nationals following a run of five consecutive appearances by the Youngbloodz.
Minneapolis' run to the Midwest Final was made a bit easier with the Chicago Lions having already qualified. The Lions, winners of the region's three qualifying events leading up to the championship tournament, were awarded the women's Midwest No. 1 seed on the 'Golden Ticket' law.
Cincinnati Rugby, hosts of the Midwest Championship, gave its fans something to cheers for when its women's team raced to the Final. However, the hometown squad's impressing outing fell shy of a bid to Nationals when Minneapolis downed the Wolfhounds, 33-10.