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.
Honorable Mentions (A-Z): Austin Blacks, Columbus Rugby, Legacy Rugby, Metropolis Rugby, Oceanside Chiefs, Old Mission Beach Athletic, Optimus Rugby, Rocky Gorge Rugby, San Francisco Golden Gate, Westside Ronins
The Rugby Utah Selects will not be participating in the 2018 Club 7s season.
A new sevens season is upon us, and a new set of rankings comes with it. Rugby Utah has indicated it won't field a team this year as it continues to focus on the successful launch of its Utah Warriors MLR program, making way for the 8-time National Runner-Up Denver Barbarians to take over the top spot. The Barbos barely beat out a Washington Athletic team that is expected to be quite strong despite MLR's existence, as synergy between the Seawolves and WAC means last year's bronze medalists should be quite strong. The Barbos get the slight edge for now, however, as it's hoped their D2 XVs National Championship this year will give them momentum into the summer months.
Bulldog moves up to #4 after moving its program to Vail, Colorado. The team will be younger than last year but in residency for several weeks *and* playing through the nation's toughest region.
Old Blue tumbles a bit while everyone waits to see who suits up for them this year. Their XVs program lost 19 players to professional contracts, but if anyone can reload it's a team like Old Blue.
Dallas jumps to 7th despite finishing 9th at last year's championship event. In retrospect, Dallas was in the hardest pool in the tournament, winning the Bowl Final over fellow poolmate Metropolis. #7 is likely where they belong.
Mystic River jumps from being unranked (no appearance at Nationals in 2017) to #9, on the heels of Bulldog's move West and the Northeast's seed gain. The men from Malden won the XVs National Championship just a few days ago and are expected to be quite strong this summer. NYAC joins the rankings at #11 (similarly benefiting from Bulldog's move and a strong XVs season).
New Orleans joins the rankings at #12. Like Seattle, the squad has a great relationship with its MLR counterpart, and will be playing through an ever-improving Red River region this summer.
After finishing #2 in the nation in 2016, the Kansas City Blues missed the 2017 tournament altogether since the Frontier region only had 2 seeds. The teams that did make it finished #1 and #2, so putting the Blues at #14 may be placing them too low. They lost a number of playmakers to MLR, however, and it remains to be seen if they get them back or re-load with younger talent.
It's unknown if Metropolis will take 7s very seriously this summer, but it is known that they lost a plethora of players to MLR's NOLA Gold outfit. As such, the next best Midwest team should be the team to make the final, and Cincinnati fits that bill after a strong 2017 7s season and a 2-win improvement in their XVs campaign.
NOVA, O Club, and Old White round out the bottom of the rankings. NOVA barely missed the tournament last year and won the Bowl in 2016. A strong XVs year may translate into 7s success, but it remains to be seen. Olympic Club has always performed well but will fight to get past strong WAC and Life West programs in the Pacific North. Their best shot may be winning the Western Open on June 30 in San Francisco. Old White returns to play this year and is one of the nation's most successful teams historically. Big things are expected of them in 2018.