|The USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championships are being held June 4-5 at PPL Park in Philadelphia. Fortickets go to www.usasevenscrc.com
Notre Dame has been eagerly looking forward to their chance to compete in the second year of the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship after bowing out in the Challenger (Plate) semis in 2010.
The team has been having regular 7s practice sessions every Sunday, even during the CPD season, to prepare for the tournament.
“We’re really excited,” Senior forward Nick Civetta said. “We started with two-a-days the other day. We know that the quality teams are going to be a lot better this year.”
The key for Notre Dame will be experience. Civetta stated that the team has not lost anyone from last year but they have brought in a few new players. He also said that since it is the second year of the tournament, the returning teams will know what to expect from each other. “Everyone will know what kind of style of play the other teams are aiming for,” he added. “We’re pretty confident.”
Senior scrumhalf/flyhalf Andy O’Connor echoed Civetta’s statement. “Last year the tournament was so new and exciting that it seemed to throw off our focus,” he said. “As experienced players, we can now concentrate on the task at hand and focus on the game we need to play. I believe that this squad can do very well this year and may be ready to shock some people.”
While the 7s version of rugby is still young for the Fighting Irish, the team’s preparation leading up to the CRC and experiences in the competition last year hint towards an eventful two days in Philadelphia. The first two matches against Boston College and Dartmouth will be good tests to prepare them for their final pool game against defending champions Utah.