|Photo: Connie Hatfield|
Some of the top brackets in the Las Vegas Invitational are filling up with still well over two months to go before the event. The LVI has long been known as the top domestic 7s collection in the country and it's shaping up to be that once again.
Typically the most watch competition at the LVI is the Men's Elite bracket, known as the Americas's Cup 7s. Past years have seen top U.S. teams participate along with sides from around the world. This year the Falcons will be putting a team in the competition once again (and possible in the Vancouver Rugby Festival the next week). The Denver 7s All-Stars and the Northeast Academy, both of which are very, very good teams, will be back. Both of those sides have contributed players to the current Eagles team. Other U.S. teams playing include the Air Force, The Selects, Tribe, Stars, Tama Laie Lions, Atlantis, and Florida. Foreign teams include the OxFam Crusaders, Ronin Headhunters (oh my!) and Germany. The Germans last year were excellent.
In the CRC Qualifier bracket, now one of two qualifiers for the CRC, powerhouse Lindenwood will be there. Wheeling Jesuit and New England College are also two sides that could make a lot of noise. Utah Valley is there and have a lot of talent that could surprise. Michigan State, Georgetown, Tulane, Colorado, and Western Michigan are all signed up.
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The Women's Elite bracket is nearly full. Like the men's division the U.S. will be contributing a Falcons side. Canada are also submitting a 'B' side in the Maple Leafs. The Northeast Academy, the Scion Sirens, the San Diego Surfers, and Team Quebec are all teams that have had a lot of success in the past. The Stars, Air Force, Florida, and Tribe are among the other teams competing.
Another of the premier divisions at the competition is the U-18 Boys Elite bracket. This is an absolutely loaded bracket. The usual suspects--Utah, Play Rugby USA, EIRA (two teams), Upright Rugby, Atavus, South Panthers, and BCYE--are all signed up. They will join a New Zealand team, a team from the DMV area, and other top teams. It's going to be super deep. The U-18 Girls Elite division is similarly stacked.
With most elite brackets among all divisions already full the Open brackets are getting full and stacked themselves. The High School bracket looks particularly deep as does the Men's Aces bracket. That said, there are some areas that are could use more teams. On the Maccabi 15s is signed up for the Men's Club 15s and no steams are signed up to play Men's College 15s. BYU and Lindenwood will play in the Women's College 15s but there aren't any more teams. The U-20 brackets have only one team each. However, it's widely expected more teams will sign up.
If you are interested in signing up you can click here.