Tuesday, January 17, 2017
St. Mary's, Arkansas State Added To CRC
Five more men's college rugby sevens teams, including returning favorites Arkansas State, Tennessee and Wisconsin, have been added to the field of 24 for the 2017 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the largest annual collegiate rugby sevens event in the world, Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th at Talen Energy Stadium in suburban Philadelphia.
St. Mary's College (Moraga, California) makes their Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship debut this summer at the World's Largest Collegiate Rugby Festival.
They join a strong field that boasts four-time defending champion University of California, returning to the pitch on which they have won the Pete Dawkins Trophy in an unprecedented show of dominance. University of Arizona, Army, Boston College, Dartmouth, Indiana University, Life University, Navy, University of Notre Dame, UCLA and Virginia Tech, as well as Philadelphia-area favorites University of Delaware, Kutztown University, Penn State, Saint Joseph's and Temple University.
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The remaining three men's teams will be determined through a process of selection and qualifiers. This will be the second consecutive year that the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship will feature a 24-team field competing for the Pete Dawkins Trophy, named after the All-American football standout at West Point won the Heisman Trophy in 1958. Dawkins was a Rhodes Scholar and attended Oxford, where he used his outstanding football skills to make him a star on the Oxford Varsity rugby team, revolutionizing the game in the process.
The 2017 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship will mark the seventh consecutive year that the event has been held in Philadelphia and at Talen Energy Stadium, bringing national and International attention to the region through the live broadcasts on the networks of NBC Sports.
The two-day rugby festival is one of the largest gatherings of collegiate and high school rugby teams in the world. Penn Mutual is in the third year of a title sponsorship for the event, and NBC Sports will once again return as both broadcaster and event partner. Over 30,000 fans are expected for the two-day event.
The annual event also includes a 16-team collegiate women's rugby championship bracket; a Philadelphia College Challenge with a six-team field vying for a spot in next year's main bracket; the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) national championship; as well as a national high school tournament with both boys' and girls' teams. Fields for each of those events will be announced in the coming weeks.
The interest in Rugby Sevens (also known as Rugby 7s) continues to grow following the sports return to the Olympic Games in 2016, following a 92-year hiatus. The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is part of a nationwide effort to build American rugby talent for competition on the International stage. In the past four years, the event has produced over a dozen players who have gone on to play for the U.S. National teams.
In addition to its CRC sponsorship, Penn Mutual is also title sponsor for The Varsity Cup, the collegiate championship of the 15-a-side rugby format.