By Conor Bertrand (edited by RugbyInTexas staff)
Texas A&M RFC will host the University of Texas on Friday, April 8th at
7:30 pm in their annual battle for the University Cup. The Aggies have been able to
handle the Horns in the last two years to secure the cup, and Texas will be hungry
for the chance to get it back.
The Longhorns will like their chances as this is the first year in history that
the University Cup will be decided via a 7s match as opposed to 15’s. UT has just
been accepted into the CRC, or Collegiate Rugby Championship Sevens tournament,
which hosts 16 of the best college teams in the USA. Since their 15’s season ended
several weeks ago, UT have been focused on refining their 7’s skills and will be
eager to show the 7’s world that they are contenders by defeating the Aggies on
their home ground. A&M will have to rely on their skills in 15’s making a smooth
transition to the 7’s game in order to keep pace with Texas. Although A&M will only
have 3 practices to get prepared, it is a challenge they are excited to take on. They
will be bringing in 7s Guru David McPhail to help them transition quickly.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the talent they have at A&M. I only wish I could spend more time with the club,” McPhail said.
“You can throw the records out the window when UT and A&M get together,” A&M’s Hunter Leland says. “Playing each
other usually brings the best out in each team as the longtime rivals share a mutual distaste for each other.”
This will be classic match as two highly motivated teams with much to prove to each other and the 7s world, square off in a new game with a long history.
The Varsity match will be preceded by a Junior Varsity and
Developmental match that will provide fans with a full night of rugby.
The following day, The Gareth Jones Challenge Cup involving over 30 youth teams will take place at Veterans Park in College Station.
The 7’s event will be held on the A&M campus at the Penberthy Sports Complex with the Developmental match getting thing started at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $3. A map to the field can be found at www.aggierugby.com.
The 7’s game is experiencing a tremendous growth spurt in the USA with the
addition of the game to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero. It has led to the
establishment of numerous 7s events including the Collegiate Rugby Championship
7s that will be held in Philadelphia in June and will be featured on NBC.