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Defending Champion University of California, Michigan, UCLA, Arizona Amongst First Group of Announced Schools For 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship

Army, Navy, St. Joseph’s, Temple, 2014 Finalist Kutztown Also In the Field For May 30-31 Event at PPL Park in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- December 11, 2014 -- The defending champion Cal Golden Bears, 2014 semi-finalists UCLA and Kutztown are among the 15 schools now committed to the 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, May 30-31 at PPL Park in Philadelphia, it was announced today.  The event is the largest and longest-running collegiate Rugby 7’s Championship in the world, with 20 schools competing for the title. 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.

“We are looking forward to what we know will be the most exciting and competitive collegiate rugby 7’s championship to date, and are enjoying our work with new partner Penn Mutual to grow this event, as well as collegiate rugby overall, around the country,” said Donal Walsh, Penn Mutual CRC Tournament Director. “The Penn Mutual CRC is fast-becoming to Philadelphia with the College World Series is to Omaha, Nebraska, a must-attend celebration of all things positive about collegiate sport, and we think this year will be bigger and better than ever before.”

"We are excited to host the Penn Mutual CRC and welcome the student athletes, their families and fans to our hometown, Philadelphia.  Like rugby, Penn Mutual is rapidly growing our presence across America, and we look forward to using this platform to better connect with the next generation of advisors and clients,” said Eileen McDonnell, Penn Mutual’s Chairman, President & CEO. "The schools in the field announced today clearly represent those on top of their game--with high quality academic and athletic standards.  There is no doubt that both the event and Penn Mutual will reach new heights as a result of the partnership."

Beginning in 2015, a portion of Penn Mutual’s sponsorship investment will be awarded to the winning team, the proceeds of which will be used to build the team’s rugby program on-campus.

In addition to the four returning semi-finalists from2014, the 2015 field will also feature at least one  matchup between the United States Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, further adding to the buildup around the event. Rugby powerhouses the University of Arizona,  the University of Michigan, Penn State University, Dartmouth College, Virginia Tech University, the University of Notre Dame, and Life University of Georgia will also be back this year, as well as local schools St. Joseph’s, and Temple.    

The remaining teams in the field will be determined by conference spring championships from The Big Ten, The Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Las Vegas Invitational.

The Penn Mutual CRC will also be hosting a Phladelphia Collegiate Rugby Challenge as part of the weekend, with Drexel, Penn, St. Joe’s Temple and LaSalle competing for Philadelphia supremacy as well.  All this will be in addition to a host of local high school matches and women’s rugby 7’s competitions going on throughout the weekend. 

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 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.