Three-Time Defending Champion University of California, Joins Notre Dame, UCLA, Penn State and local rivals Drexel, St. Joseph’s and Temple In The Field of 20, With Four Spots Left To Qualify For June 4-5 Event At Talen Energy Park in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Penn. — December 4 , 2015 — The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the largest annual collegiate rugby sevens event in the world, today announced that the field for the 2016 Men’s Championships will expand to 24 schools for the first time ever, with 20 schools already identified for this year’s field. It is the first time in the tournament’s seven-year history that 24 teams will compete for the Pete Dawkins Trophy. The year’s event will be held June 4-5 at Talen Energy (formerly PPL) Park, the home of the Philadelphia Union.
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 second 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 collegiate women’s rugby bracket, 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 2016.
The field of 20 programs that have accepted invitations includes three-time champion Cal, two-time winner Dartmouth, three-time semifinalist Arizona, perennial quarterfinalist Navy, Penn State and Notre Dame. Drexel University has qualified by taking the inaugural Philadelphia Championship title last June. The Philadelphia Championship is the competition between local Philadelphia teams run in conjunction with the CRC, with the winner qualifying for the following year’s main event.
The final four spots will be earned via qualifiers to be held in the spring of 2016– the Las Vegas Invitational, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conference championships.
Temple returns for the sixth-straight year. The Owls have participated every time the event has been played in Philadelphia. Life University of Atlanta returns for a fifth-straight time. Virginia Tech, UCLA, St. Joe's and Kutztown come back for the fourth year in a row. Army also returns for its fourth run, with The Black Knights finishing second in 2011. Boston College, Michigan and Indiana have also been invited back for their third appearances.
Clemson, South Carolina and Arkansas State are back for the second time. Arkansas State won the Plate in 2015. The Red Wolves qualified for last year’s tournament by winning the Las Vegas Invitational.
The schools in the 2016 CRC field will be: Arizona, Arkansas State, Army, Boston College, Cal, Clemson, Dartmouth, Drexel, Indiana, Kutztown, Life, Michigan, Navy, Notre Dame, Penn State, South Carolina, St. Joe's, Temple, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Las Vegas Invitational winner, Big Ten champion, Atlantic Coast champion, and Southeastern Conference champion.
The interest in Rugby 7s will continue to grow as the sport returns to the Olympic Games in 2016, following an 84-year hiatus. The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is part of a nationwide effort to build American rugby talent in preparation for the Olympics. In the past three years, the Collegiate Rugby Championship has produced 15 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. The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup is played in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 7.
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.
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