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Wisconsin, Tennessee and Maryland are Final Qualifiers for 24-team Men’s Field at 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, Saturday & Sunday, June 4th & 5th in Philadelphia

Nation’s Top Collegiate Rugby 7s Squads Compete for Pete Dawkins Trophy at Talen Energy Stadium

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – April 19, 2016 – This past weekend, the three final qualifiers for the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship were decided in their respective conferences, as the men’s Rugby Sevens squads from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Tennessee and the University of Maryland joined the field competing for the Pete Dawkins Trophy, the weekend of Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park) in Philadelphia.

The 24-team men’s collegiate rugby field in the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, also features three-time defending champion California, as well as Arizona, Arkansas State, Army, Boston College, Clemson, Dartmouth, Drexel, Indiana, Kutztown, Life, Michigan, Navy, Notre Dame, Penn State, South Carolina, St. Joseph’s, Temple, UCLA, Utah and Virginia Tech.

The winner of the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship takes 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.

Wisconsin returns to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship for the first time since 2013.  The Badgers won the Big 10 title by overcoming Michigan, 38-17.  Michigan received an earlier bid to the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.  

Tennessee returns to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship for the first time since 2010.  The Volunteers will represent the Southeastern Conference, despite losing to the University of South Carolina in the cup final, 14-7.  South Carolina received an earlier bid to the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.

Maryland returns to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship after missing the 2015 event.  The Terrapins were defeated by Boston College, 21-17 in the ACC Championship, but Boston College had received an earlier bid for the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.

Putting the spotlight squarely on the new Olympic sport of Rugby Sevens (which will make its return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer), this 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.  Philadelphia, and Talen Energy Stadium, has been home to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship since 2011.

The “World’s Largest Collegiate Rugby Festival” also includes the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) national championship, and the nation’s largest high school tournament with both boys and girls teams. 

Earlier, the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship announced that the field for the 2016 Women’s Collegiate Championship will expand to 16 teams for the first time ever, and that the women’s championship final will be televised live nationally on NBC Sports Network.  The women’s collegiate rugby field includes 16 of the nation’s top collegiate programs, including three-time defending champion Penn State (winner in 2013, 2014, and 2015) and local favorites Temple University (which returns to the event after missing the 2015 competition), University of Delaware, Bloomsburg University and Kutztown University

Also returning to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship are the women’s rugby squads from the University of Arizona; Boston University; Life University; Lindenwood University; University of Michigan, and the University of Notre Dame.  New to the expanded line-up this June are Ohio State University; Princeton University; Rutgers University; and the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Selects squad, an all-star team chosen from the best of the NSCRO’s sevens teams.

The interest in Rugby Sevens (also known as Rugby 7s) will continue to grow as the sport returns 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 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.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, and are available online at http://www.usasevenscrc.com/crc-tickets/.  All games will be played at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester.

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.

Media Contacts:

Joe Favorito, fatherknickerbocker1@yahoo.com, (201) 746-0005

Jim DeLorenzo, jim@jhdenterprises.com, (215) 266-5943