The Runner Sports

USA Rugby Club 7s Championship: Three-Month Chase Culminates In Two-Day Test Of Will To Crown Champions

The pools are assembled for the 2017 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both men’s and women’s pools are complete, after three months of qualifying tournaments, now the real work begins.

Men’s Championship:

The Rugby Utah Selects are returning champions and the #1 overall seed and should be considered favorites to repeat but don’t be shocked if they don’t even make it out of their own pool. Upstarts Austin, Beltway, and Bulldog Rugby won’t rollover for last season’s winners but the challenge will be a daunting one.

The dark horse in the men’s division comes from the Pool B, the Pool of Death. The 13th overall seed, Washington Athletic Club, whose roster includes 7s stand-outs Shalom Suniula, Aladdin Schirmer, and Peter Tiberio as well as the highly touted Psalm Wooching, will be battle-tested and if they survive the pool have a strong shot at winning it all.

Expect Rugby Utah, Chicago Lions, Life West, Old Blue, and Denver Barbarians to go in as favorites to advance but with only eight spots in the Cup quarterfinals and the talent pool deep, one or more of these favorites may be outside looking in.

Men’s Pool A
Utah Rugby Selects – #1
Bulldog Rugby – #8
Beltway Elite – #9
Austin Huns – #16

Men’s Pool B
Old Blue – #3
Metropolis Rugby – #7
Dallas Rugby – #12
Washington Athletic – #13

Men’s Pool C
Denver Barbarians – #2
Belmont Shore – #5
Charlotte Rugby – #11
Schuylkill Rugby Exiles – #14

Men’s Pool D
Chicago Lions – #4
Life West Gladiators – #6
Santa Monica Dolphins – #10
Optimus Rugby – #15

Women’s Championship:

Scion Sirens are the top seed and defending champion but their road to the title won’t be any easy, with Life West and Glendale in the same pool, Scion will have their work cut out for them. If they survive Pool A, chances are 2015 champion American Rugby Pro or 2014 champion San Diego Surfers will likely be in their way as well.

With the Women’s Rugby World Cup underway during the championship, tournament rosters are going to be depleted and depth will be tested. Ignore the seeding, this title chase is going to be interesting.

Life West as the #7 seed might be considered a dark horse but look to Orlando Griffins Rugby as the overall 11 seed, #1 South seed) to provide the potential for some upsets.

Women’s Pool A
Scion Sirens Rugby – #1
Life West Gladiatrix – #7
Glendale Merlins – #10
Tempe Ninjas – #16

Women’s Pool B
New York Rugby – #2
Philadelphia Rugby – #8
Chicago Lions – #9
Austin Valkyries – #15

Women’s Pool C
American Rugby Pro – #3
San Diego Surfers – #5
Atlanta Harlequins – #12
Beantown Rugby – #14

Women’s Pool D
Seattle Atavus – #4
Northern Virginia Rugby – #6
Orlando Griffins Rugby – #11
Minneapolis Rugby – #13

 

Three months of qualifying, 32 total clubs, countless hours of training, and it all comes down to two days of intense 7s rugby to decide two national champions.

Tune in August 12-13 at 10 am CDT on The Rugby Channel for the live broadcast and check back here for post-tournament coverage as the USA Club Rugby 7s season comes to its conclusion.

 

-By Jason Graves