USA Rugby confirmed today in a release that Texas A&M will host the new College Sevens National Championships for both men and women.
The event will run December 16-17 and will include 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams.
The release also spelled out, at least in part, details on how teams will be selected.
Fourteen men's teams will automatically qualify for the tournament by winning a qualifying tournament and a selection panel, with the goal of providing the best possible competition, will determine the ten remaining men’s teams.
Twenty-three of the men's teams will be announced on Wednesday November 9, with the final team being determined at the Empire 7s tournament on Saturday November 19.
The women’s teams will be chosen entirely by a selection committee. Those selections will be announced on Wednesday November 16.
Winners of the qualifying tournaments held this fall already have automatic bids:
North Carolina State
Winner of the Empire 7s Nov. 19
However, some of these teams – notably BYU and Dartmouth – have stated they will not be able to attend. Others have been rumored to be likely no-shows, as well, leaving more at-large spots to be filled.
Still, USA Rugby’s Director of Rugby Operations, Jim Snyder, is excited about the event.
"Rugby sevens has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two years, and this tournament will really be the first comprehensive scouting opportunity at the college level for the USA men's and women's sevens teams," said Jim Snyder, USA Rugby's Director of Rugby Operations. "The Championships will be very exciting, but on top of that, many of the athletes have an opportunity to showcase their talents and plug themselves into the international pathway. We expect to see a number of these student-athletes in the Olympics one day,"
According to the release, select games of the National College Sevens Championships will be webcast, and “additional broadcast and webcast opportunities are being reviewed.”