Earlier this morning, it was announced that the University of Victoria Vikes earned the right to host the U SPORTS women’s rugby 15s national championship in the fall of 2022.
“We are very excited to be hosting the 2022 U SPORTS women’s rugby championships and cannot wait to welcome the top teams from across the country to our beautiful city and campus. We know UVic will host a memorable experience for all of the visiting teams and our community,” said Vikes Head Coach Brittany Waters.
The championship is scheduled to run from Wednesday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 6.
Eight teams from the four U SPORTS conferences will descend to Wallace Field for the tournament. Winners from the each conference – the Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) and the Canada West (CW) – along with the host, will receive automatic bids. The format for the filling out the rest of the bracket is yet to be determined.
“We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional national championship experiences for the participating student-athletes and their programs, while driving our national brand to new levels,” said Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. “We have hosted many national rugby events before and are equipped to provide an outstanding experience for spectators and participants.”
The championships will feature 11 games over five days of competition. Single-game elimination will sort out semifinals and will feature two halves consisting of 35 minutes. Once teams reach the fifth, bronze and gold medal games, they will play two halves of 40 minutes.
Conference seeding heading into the championship will be based on the results from the U SPORTS national championship from the year prior. The conference with the two best finishes will have their teams ranked the highest in the bracket, while the conference that finished the lowest will have their teams round out the bottom of the bracket.
The Vikes have attended the national championship four times. Since Waters took over in 2015, the Vikes have represented the Canada West three times in 2015, 2016 and 2018. The Vikes best finish at nationals is fifth, which they were in 2015 and 2018.
“We are fortunate to have the support of our athletics department and community behind us, who continue to demonstrate their belief in our program,” said Waters. “UVic is a strong player in the U SPORTS 15s and we look forward to showcasing great rugby for all of our fans.
Waters played at the national tournament during her final season as a Vike in 2005. Now as the second-longest tenured coach in Vikes history, she has turned Vikes women’s rugby 15s into a perennial conference contender. Her teams have brought home medals from the Canada West championship each year and are coming off their best regular season campaign, where they finished 4-1.
This marks the third time the Vikes will host the 15s championship, as they did so previously in 2005 and 2016.