(ISN) – BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby, in partnership with IMG, will hold the 2015 College 7s National Championships at the University of Denver. Forty-eight of college rugby’s finest men’s and women’s programs will descend upon the University of Denver campus May 23-24 to compete in three tournament fields – Men’s Division I, Men’s Division II, and the Women’s Division.
The May dates for this year’s premiere college 7s event is a shift from the November setting of the College 7s National Championships from 2011 to 2013.
“Memorial Weekend is the perfect time to host the USA Rugby College 7s National Championships,” said USA Rugby Collegiate Director Rich Cortez. “The third weekend of May should see most of the participating teams’ 7s programs peaking, while those few teams playing 15s into early May will have enough time to revert to training for 7s. The fall 15s teams now have the opportunity to participate in 7s during the spring and the College 7s National Championships will help the players transition to additional national team pathways during the summer.”
Located in close proximity to Denver International Airport and the vast amenities of downtown Denver, surrounded by a community increasingly known for its rugby prowess, the University’s aesthetic campus will make the ideal setting for a college championship. Three of the campus’ athletic fields and stadia will support a weekend of nonstop rugby action. Diane Wendt Sports Fields, home to the University of Denver’s rugby team, Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium, and CIBER Field soccer stadium form a trio of upper-echelon facilities worthy of a National Championship event.
“The University of Denver is honored to have been selected to host the USA Rugby College 7s National Championship,” said Stuart Halsall, Associate Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation. “The University of Denver has a strong tradition of hosting championship events and we look forward to hosting two exciting days of rugby 7s.”
USA Rugby-sanctioned automatic qualifying events continue to take place throughout the country as opportunities for college rugby’s best to earn their place in one of the three College 7s National Championship brackets. When the dust has settled from these qualifying tournaments, the majority of the 24 Men’s DI, 16 Women’s, and eight Men’s DII teams will have solidified their place at the National Championship. The select few remaining spots will be awarded to teams based on their on-field résumés.
IMG’s promotional support and overall expertise in marketing sporting events are sure to create a platform for which participating universities and their rugby teams can gain national exposure, all the while competing for a coveted National Championship.
Norwich University, winners of the three previous Women’s College 7s National Championships, and Arkansas State, which won the previous two Men’s DI College 7s National Championships, are both expected to be in Denver to defend their titles.