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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Updated Look At The LVI Pools


A record 260 teams have signed up so far for this year's Las Vegas Invitational. We thought we'd take a look at who is in some of the top divisions.

CRC Qualifier

A whopping 28 teams have signed up to play in the CRC qualifier. It's one of two qualifier tournaments for the CRC this year but Vegas seems to have drawn out most of the heavy hitters. Lindenwood certainly stands out as a team that is up there to win the title but so is Central Washington who beat the Lions a few weeks back. Both of those teams have excellent 7s pedigrees. For Central Washington it would be extra sweet forcing their way into a tournament when they often live in isolation in the Pacific Northwest. Other teams that could make some noise at the tournament include Notre Dame College, Utah Valley, and Colorado.

Teams: Utah Valley, Michigan State, Georgetown, Wheeling Jesuit, New England College, Tulane, Colorado, Lindenwood, Western Michigan, Lindenwood-Belleville, Harvard, Montana State, Buffalo, St. Bonaventure, Northeastern, Colgate, Millersville, Grand Canyon, Dixie State, James Madison, Clemson, Notre Dame College, UNLV, UCB-Pueblo, Central Washington, Utah State, Santa Clara, College of Idaho

Take the jump to read more.

America's Cup (former Men's Elite)

This year's edition has a different feel to it with the U.S. not sending the Falcons. Instead, several players in the Eagles 7s pool will be shipped out to other teams. Some of those teams that could really impress from a domestic perspective are the Denver 7s All-Stars (always good), the Northeast Academy (they've sent several players to the Eagles recently), Atlantis, and Tiger 1823. Look for those four teams to do well.

As usual their is an international contingent. Germany were very strong last year and they are sending a development team tho shear. The Froggies Midol made it to the final last year. Maybe the team everyone is expecting to be the top is APX Fiji Blond. It's still up in the air but they could have several players on the cusp of the Fiji first team. There are 20 teams in total.

Teams: OxFam Crusaders, Denver 7s All-Stars, US Air Force, US Air Force 2, Serevi Selects, Northeast Academy, The Selects, Germany Development, Tribe, Stars, Borelli Walsh Selects, Tama Laie Lions, Atlantis, Florida ODA, Black Dragon, Misfits, West Indies, Froggies Midol, Tiger 1823, APX Fiji Blond

Women's Elite 7s

The Women's Elite 7s will feature the Falcons giving some younger U.S. players more opportunities. It comes just after some went to Okinawa and then will head to Vancouver the next weekend. The bracket will also have Canada's second team, the Maple Leafs. U.S. academies in the the Northeast Academy, Scion, and Atavus will also all be there.

Teams: US Air Force, TUKS Ladies 7s, Northeast Academy, Falcons, Arukas Queens, Tribe, WR Ravens, Stars Red, Stars Blue, Team Quebec, Scion Sirens, Florida, San Diego Surfers, Maple Leafs, Atavus, Phoenix 7s

Men's Aces 7s

The Aces division has a much more distinctive domestic feel to it. Sides likes the Army, the PNRFU Loggers, Humless (perennial favorites), the Chicago Lions, and a second team from Denver 7s All-Stars are all participating. Canadian sides Team Quebec, BC Rugby, and Upright Rugby should provide a good test.

Teams: The Selects, US Army, BC Rugby, Arctic Legion, Nuts and Jugs (classy), Bridge City 7s, PNRFU Loggers, Hooligans Selects, Humless 7s, Mana Rugby, New Orleans 7s, Cowrie 7s, Titans Rugby, Denver 7s All-Stars, Atlanta Old White, Upright Rugby, Legacy Rugby, West Valley Lions, Chicago Lions, Team Quebec

U-18 Boys Elite 7s

This division filled up quickly. Once again it will offer the best U.S. teams along with some foreign counterparts. Heavy hitters from the U.S., including Utah Academy, Utah Cannibals, Atavus, EIRA, and the Washington Loggers will all be there. Tough Canadian opponents include Upright Rugby and BCYE. NZ Taniwha from New Zealand will also be playing.

Teams: NZ Taniwha, Atlantis, Utah Academy, Play Rugby USA, EIRA 1, Upright Rugby, Atavus, USA South Panthers, State of Mexico Select, Cobra Rugby, Danville Oaks, BCYE, EIRA 2, Utah Cannibals, DMV United, Washington Loggers

15s

In past year the LVI has had some nice 15s matches even though it's mostly a 7s tournament. This year there should be some good ones even if teams like the SCRFU Griffins or NorCal Pelicans aren't there. The Maccabi 15s should be interesting as they build up to international competition. Jackson Hole and Park City are two ski town teams that are fun to watch. On the men's college side Arizona vs. Air Force looks good as does BYU vs. Lindenwood on the women's side.

For a full list of teams playing in the LVI, click here.

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