Local Squads of note include Defending Champion Penn State, Delaware and Kutztown
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – April 14, 2015 – The “World’s Largest Rugby Festival,” the 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, has expanded their annual collegiate women’s rugby tournament from eight teams to 12 for this year’s event, with all games taking place on Friday, May 29th, Saturday, May 30th and Sunday, May 31st at PPL Park in Chester.
Women’s rugby teams competing this year include defending champion Penn State; University of Arizona; American International College; Boston University; University of Delaware; James Madison University; Kutztown University; Life University; Lindenwood University; University of Michigan; Notre Dame College (South Euclid, Ohio); and the University of Notre Dame.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, and are available online at http://www.usasevenscrc.com/crc-tickets/. All games will be played at PPL Park in Chester.
With the growing interest in the women’s game, the 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship has expanded the field, and moved all games in the tournament (pool rounds on Friday, knock-out rounds on Saturday, consolation and championship final on Sunday) to PPL Park. PPL Park has recently added additional fields surrounding the stadium, accommodating all action for the weekend.
In addition, the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is providing 11 of the 12 women’s teams competing in this year’s tournament with full, new “kits” or uniforms specifically for the weekend competition.
Penn State’s women’s rugby team is the defending, consecutive two-time women’s champion of the CRC, capturing the 2013 and 2014 titles. Founded in 1962, Penn State Rugby is one of the most successful collegiate rugby programs in the United States, consistently fielding teams that compete for the National Championship. The women’s team has won nine national championships during the past two decades. The 2015 squad is led by senior Meya Bizer (The Woodlands, Texas), who was a member of the 2013 Penn State squad that won the women’s CRC title. Her career achievements including playing for the USA Rugby under-17 squad, the under-20 squad from 2011 through 2013, the USA 15’s since 2012 and the USA 7’s since 2012. She has also earned Collegiate All-American honors in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is a two-day rugby festival, the largest gathering of collegiate and high school rugby teams in the world, and also the largest and longest-running collegiate Rugby 7’s Championship in the world, with 20 men’s teams competing for the national title and the Pete Dawkins Trophy. Penn Mutual is in the first of a three-year title sponsorship for the event, and NBC Sports is returning as both broadcaster and event partner.
This year’s main field of 20 teams includes the two-time defending champions from the University of California, as well as the Air Force Academy, University of Arizona, Arkansas State, Dartmouth, Life University, University of Michigan, U.S. Naval Academy, University of Notre Dame, University of Texas, UCLA and Virginia Tech. Three final qualifying schools will be announced the week of April 20th to complete the field, with the winner taking home the coveted Pete Dawkins Trophy. The championship trophy is named after Dawkins, who as an All-American football standout at West Point won the Heisman Trophy in 1958. Dawkins then won a Rhodes scholarship to 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 “World’s Largest Rugby Festival” also includes a Philadelphia City Championship for the men’s college rugby bracket with the winner earning a spot in the tournament field for next year, as well as a men's small college rugby bracket from the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO), and a national high school tournament with both boys and girls teams. The fields for each of those events will be announced shortly.
The interest in Rugby 7s will continue to grow as the sport returns with men’s and women’s squads competing in the Rio de Janeiro 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 the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championship, 20 of the top colleges and universities competed for the title, including Penn State, Notre Dame, Texas, Michigan, Navy, Ohio State and reigning national champion, The University of California Golden Bears.
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 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 2.
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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