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Thursday, August 4, 2016

NOVA And Griffins Merge

Press Release

VIENNA, Va. - The Northern Virginia Rugby Football Club (NOVA Rugby) and the Griffins Rugby Club are pleased to announce a merger between the two teams that begins in the Fall 2016 rugby season. The Griffins provide a key bridge for high school players who are interested in continuing their rugby careers, as players now have a clear path from youth rugby to high school, and eventually to senior teams like NOVA rugby.

“We think the chance to align our team with a program like NOVA Rugby is a tremendous opportunity,” said Bill Brownley, head coach of the Griffins. “We are looking forward to joining the NOVA family and helping to grow rugby in the Washington, D.C. area.”

The Griffins are an under-23 men’s team that focuses on the high-performance development of athletes who are transitioning from high school to men’s senior rugby. The recently-formed team currently competes in the Cardinal Collegiate Rugby Conference, where they are able to compete against some of the top colleges and universities in Virginia.

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“The Griffins provide an excellent opportunity for former high school players to continue their rugby development at a level that suits them best,” said Justin Smith, president of NOVA Rugby. “We believe that this development will prepare players for the senior club level and greatly strengthen our program.”

The merger allows both clubs to focus on the development of younger players on the Griffins, while improving performance for the men’s teams. In addition, the merger allows upcoming players to train together within the same system, creating greater knowledge, skills, and cohesion from the outset.

“We look forward to having the Griffins practice with us, where I think we can raise the competition of both teams” said Will Hagan, NOVA’s captain. “We are also excited to welcome the Griffin players onto the NOVA men’s team when it is time for them to move up.”

Joint practices begin in August 2016, and each team will maintain separate schedules as they remain in separate conferences. NOVA and the Griffins will share practice facilities, coaching resources, and administrative oversight while creating shared board seats and separate USAR club entities.

About NOVA Rugby

Founded in 1976, the Northern Virginia Rugby Football Club has been recognized as the top rugby club in Northern Virginia for the last 40 years. NOVA Rugby has a men’s, women’s, and high school team, as well as involvement with several youth rugby organizations in the area. NOVA Rugby won the national championships in 7s in 1996 and had several elite 8 finishes in XVs.

About Griffins Rugby

Founded in 2015, the U-23 Griffins have attracted strong talent from around Washington Metro Area. In their first season they finished undefeated within their conference and won the College Conference tournament in their division.

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