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Major collegiate rugby events are becoming year round with the addition of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Fall Classic (CRFC). The eight team tournament, held in conjunction with the newly created international tournament, the Silicon Valley 7s, will be played inside Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes, the local Major League Soccer franchise.
While premier events like the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC), Penn Mutual Varsity Cup and Las Vegas Invitational 7s, have given college athletes a chance to play on the main stage, those competitions have been held in the spring. With the addition of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Fall Classic to the fall calendar, college rugby players and fans are getting more rugby throughout the year.
“Our goal was to give college rugby players and fans an exciting new event to look forward to in the fall,” said Tournament Director Jon Hinkin. “This event will give college rugby players another opportunity to showcase themselves on a grand stage.”
This tournament is unique. While the Las Vegas 7s is held in conjunction with the international stop on the HSBC World Series, only the final is played inside the stadium. At the Silicon Valley 7s all collegiate games will be played inside the Avaya Stadium mixed in with the international contests, meaning a large crowd for all the college participants and playing in front of the national team coaching staff.
It features a bevy of talented rugby programs. Collegiate Rugby Championship mainstay Arizona is joined by the University of Southern California (USC), UC-Davis, San Diego State, Central Washington, Cal Poly, Stanford and Santa Clara.
For six of the eight teams, this will be the first time their respective rugby programs will play in front a large audience and in a professional stadium. These athletes are excited at the opportunity to play at the CRFC.
“The exposure and the notoriety that this event will bring is an incredible honor,” said USC Director of Rugby Dominic Riebli. “This tournament gives us the opportunity to demonstrate to our administration that our rugby program is serious about creating an outstanding student athlete experience at USC.”
The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Fall Classic is the next step in the evolution of college rugby. With an extended season and more exposure, college rugby will continue to be one of the fastest growing sports in the country.