Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
In a significant development for the Atlantic Coast Rugby League, the USA Sevens and the Atlantic Coast Rugby League are pleased to announce a long-term partnership specifically centered around the Atlantic Coast Invitational Rugby Sevens Tournament in Greensboro, NC September 11-12, 2010.
The partnership aims to build the value of 7’s rugby by leveraging traditional collegiate sports conferences to increase legitimacy and support for the sport.
USA Sevens’ partnership with the Atlantic Coast Rugby League and potential partnerships with other conferences will continue to strengthen 7’s rugby as a viable collegiate sports asset.
“The pathway that the Atlantic Coast Rugby League is taking in staging the inaugural Atlantic Coast Invitational Rugby 7’s Tournament is exactly on par with the goals of USA Sevens – traditional conferences, universities and rivalries have appeal to sports fans, media and sponsors across the board, and we are excited to be partnering with them,” said USA Sevens Tournament Director, Dan Lyle.
“The Atlantic Coast Rugby League is thrilled to be partnering with USA Sevens around the Atlantic Coast Invitational. USA Sevens has demonstrated that they fully understand the importance of college rugby to the overall growth of the game in this country and they’ve also shown, with the College Championship Invitational, that they can stage fantastic collegiate rugby events. With the City of Greensboro fully supporting our event and USA Sevens now on board, the future of the Atlantic Coast Invitational Rugby Sevens Tournament is very bright,” said Patrick Kane, 2010 Atlantic Coast Invitational Tournament Co-Director.
The move may shed a bit of light on where collegiate 7’s is headed down the road. It is also not surprising to see the USA 7’s getting involved. The group has played a vital role in the growth of 7’s in the United States and have proved to be a valuable and respected stewart of the game.
The USA 7’s support of tournaments aligned along traditional collegiate conferences may spur even more into action. The SEC is just a week away from their own 7’s tournament and many more are expected to follow.
With the backing of the USA 7’s, this could very well be the early days of some sort of formal collegiate 7’s competition that will rely on conference based tournaments to supplement their Collegiate Championship Invitational. The inaugural CCI exceeded expectations, found a broadcast partner in NBC, and laid the foundation for collegiate 7’s.
It’s imaginable that teams from schools in the Big 10, Big East, PAC 10, and other recognizable NCAA conferences cannot be that far behind in the creation of 7’s tournaments.
All of this can only serve to drive 7’s forward in the United States, expand the depth and quality of the player pool, and ultimately lead to more success at the International level.
It is an exciting time to be a college rugby fan and there’s room for even more growth.