The University of Mary Washington has joined the D1A as an affiliate member of the Rugby East Conference, starting fall 2019. They will only be eligible for Post Season play should they qualify as an at-large bid.
“The guys are very ecstatic, it was a unanimous decision,” explained Mary Washington’s head coach Tyler Stephens. “Once I put it the question to the players there was not a single person hesitant.”
Mary Washington joined the D1AA competition in 2016. In the 2017-2018 season, they won the national championship, and last season they lost by one point to eventual fall champions, Bowling Green.
With Buffalo leaving for the Liberty Conference, St Bonaventure Head Coach Tui Osborne reached out to gage Mary Washington’s interest in joining Rugby East. That was in line with the team goals, so the team agreed.
Osborne said, “it was an easy decision, as he knew their addition would only help to grow the reputation of Rugby East. We’re excited to have Mary Washington on board, as this will strengthen competition within the conference.”