The 20th and final team added to the 2013 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship (June 1-2 at PPL Park in Philadelphia) is Northeastern University.
“It’s an honor and it’s a really big deal for everybody at Northeastern University,” said Northeastern head 15s coach Jamie Green. “Just seeing it come through is a great honor and a great surprise, and we’re really, really excited.”
Northeastern won the East Coast 7s Championship in the fall to qualify for the USA Rugby College 7s National Championship in Houston. There they finished with a 2-2 record, beating Wisconsin and Colorado State, and losing to Life and Cal Poly. A competitive 7s track record, the potential to draw some fans to Philadelphia and strong administrative support helped Northeastern land the final CRC spot.
“Their whole school administration is behind it at the highest levels, and they really seem to understand the essence of the CRC,” said CRC Tournament Director Donal Walsh.
“They showed a good performance [at Nationals], they have a 7s program, they have the full backing of the athletic director, the athletic department, in terms of the support they need to be a good team, so we believe they’ll have a good product on the field, and they believe they’ll have a good product on the field. They’re not intimidated by coming and competing against the best, which they did in Texas quite well.”
Northeastern did not win an automatic bid to the 15s postseason in DI-AA, so the Maddogs will have plenty of 7s prep time leading up to the nationally televised event. And Northeastern’s players, having just been notified of their admission to the CRC within the last few days, are thrilled to have a new championship to play for this spring.
“They’re really excited about this opportunity. Some of the guys have local connections to that area, whether it’s the DC metro area or the Philly metro area, it’s really going to be fun to play in front of their family and friends,” said Northeastern 7s head coach Greg Bruce.
“We had a meeting tonight, and guys were talking about how proud they are to represent this team on the national stage," Bruce added. "They realize how much has gone into it, not just with the current team, but with the alumni that has backed them throughout the years and the fact that the athletic department is so all in on this.”
For more information on the 2013 USA Sevens CRC, visit www.usasevenscrc.com.