4-Time Defending Champion University of California Headlines First 16 Men’s Teams Announced for 2017 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, Returning to Philadelphia June 3rd & 4th at Talen Energy Stadium
Philly Favorites Include Kutztown, Penn State, Saint Joseph’s and Temple
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – December 1, 2016 – The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the largest annual collegiate rugby sevens event in the world, today announced the initial 16 men’s college Rugby 7s squads that will compete in the 24-team field for the 2017 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, slated for Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th at Talen Energy Stadium in suburban Philadelphia. Over 30,000 fans are expected for the two-day event.
Leading the charge for the 2017 edition is 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. Joining the Cal Bears in the 2017 men’s field are the 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.
“We are excited about the outstanding field of the nation’s top colleges and universities that will be competing in Philadelphia this coming June,” said Jon Hinkin, Tournament Director of the 2017 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship. “It is great to have so many returning favorites and we look forward to announcing more participating schools in the New Year.”
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.
USA Rugby, which operates its own collegiate 7s national championship, and United World Sports, the owners and operators of the Penn Mutual CRC, are looking at additional opportunities to align and promote collegiate rugby moving forward.
“It is a marquee event in the United States for Collegiate 7s, and I’ve enjoyed being closely attached to it as it has grown year over year,” said USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Dan Payne about the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship. “The two primary factors that I use as the base for most of my decisions now are does it grow awareness, and does it have the potential to increase participation in our sport? The standard that the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship sets achieves both of those through the competition on the field and the broadcast on NBC Sports.
“The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is a collection of USA Rugby college teams comprised of rosters that contain USA Rugby registered members that are all in good standing, so it’s incumbent on us to support their efforts to grow the game, grow the participation and grow the awareness the way they do by supporting the event,” Payne said. “If you've never been to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship as a fan, I'd suggest you consider attending this coming June. It's a great event for men's and women's college rugby in America.”
The remaining eight 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 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.
The “World’s Largest Collegiate Rugby Festival” also includes a 16-team collegiate women’s rugby championship bracket, a Philadelphia City College Championship, 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.
About United World Sports:
United World Sports (UWS) is the largest commercial rugby entity in the United States, and the owner and operator of a growing portfolio of dynamic sports, media and apparel brands including, the USA Sevens Rugby international tournament, the largest professional rugby event in North America; the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the premier college 7s rugby championship; and the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Championship, the 15s national rugby championship. Through its apparel division, UWS owns the exclusive North and South American license for Rhino Rugby, one of the world's leading rugby apparel and equipment brands. UWS also owns and operates RugbyToday.com, the largest and most widely read media destination dedicated to American rugby. For more information about UWS and its properties, visit: http://www.unitedworldsports.com.
About the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company:
Since its founding in 1847, Penn Mutual has been driven by its noble purpose to create a world of possibilities. At the heart of this purpose is the belief that purchasing life insurance is the most protective, responsible and rewarding action a person can take, and is central to a sound financial plan. The company is committed to helping individuals, families and small businesses unlock life's possibilities through life insurance and annuity solutions. This is accomplished through a national network of more than 5,000 financial professionals, who help clients make great things possible. Penn Mutual supports its field representatives with brokerage services through Honor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor and wholly owned subsidiary. Member FINRA/SIPC. Visit Penn Mutual on the Internet at http://www.pennmutual.com.
About NBC Sports Group:
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of broadcast television, cable television, radio and digital sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 11 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital.
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