Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship Release
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – March 21, 2019 – Defending champion Lindenwood University and runner-up UCLA lead the field of the nation’s top 24 men’s rugby 7s teams in the 2019 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships, once again at Talen Energy Stadium in suburban Philadelphia during the weekend of Friday, May 31st through Sunday, June 2nd.
The first 20 teams in the 24-team men’s championship field includes Lindenwood and UCLA, alongside Arizona; Army; Boston College; Clemson; Dartmouth; Fordham; Indiana; Iona; Kutztown; Life; Navy; Notre Dame; Penn State; St. Mary’s; Saint Joseph’s; Temple; Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
The remaining four teams in the men’s field will be announced shortly. There are five paths to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship. Several teams are extended at-large invitations, and there are four different avenues to directly qualify on the pitch. Two of those qualifiers are open, the Las Vegas Invitational and Heart of America. Between them, more than 40 teams from across the country vie for one of the coveted tickets to the big dance. Win either, and you’re in.
The winner of the Southeastern Conference’s championship tournament also qualifies automatically, as does the winner of the previous year’s Liberty Cup, a regional qualification tournament held in conjunction with the CRC.
The Lindenwood men’s squad took home their first Pete Dawkins Trophy with their 24-7 win over UCLA in the men’s championship final last June. The Lions, out of St. Charles, Missouri, defeated Navy, 22-0 in the quarterfinal, and Life in the semifinal, 17-7.
UCLA’s Ben Broselle, a freshman wing from Ferndale (Washington) High School, received the inaugural Mark Dombroski Most Valuable Player Award for his play throughout the weekend. The award was named in honor of the late Saint Joseph’s rugby player who passed away in March 2018.
The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship trophy is named after the All-American football standout at West Point who won the Heisman Trophy in 1958. Army General Pete 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.
Previous winners of the Pete Dawkins Trophy include Utah (2010); Dartmouth (2011, 2012); and California (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).
Tickets are now on sale for the 2019 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship. Reserved and Field Level tickets to the World’s Largest Collegiate Rugby Festival are available online at http://www.SevensRugby.com.
Before May 1st, a single day reserved tickets are $65, while field level tickets are $41. Full weekend reserved tickets are $109, and field level tickets are $68 for the full weekend.
After May 1st, the single day reserved tickets are $90, and field level tickets are $63. Full weekend reserved tickets are $132, and field level tickets are $79.
The 2019 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship will mark the ninth 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 ESPN. The event began in Columbus, Ohio in 2010, and has made Philadelphia its home since 2011.
The weekend-long rugby event is one of the largest gatherings of collegiate and high school rugby teams in the world.
Penn Mutual is in the fifth year of title sponsorship for the event.
Over 30,000 fans are expected for the three-day weekend rugby festival.
The annual event also features the 16-team women’s championship field, as well as the Freedom Cup Championship featuring a six-team men’s field vying for a spot in next year’s main bracket; 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 sport’s 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.