Men's Pool Announced for USA Rugby College 7s National Championship
TUCSON, Arizona – The Norwich University men's rugby team will head back to the USA Rugby Division II College 7s National Championship for the third straight year in search of its first national title.
This year's tournament will take place on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 at the Kino Sports Center in Tucson, Arizona.
Championship Pool Play
The Cadets have finished ninth (2017) and seventh (2018) out of 12 teams in their last two appearances. NU will be joined by eight other returning teams from the 2018 National Championship, including the last two champions, UNC Charlotte and UW-Whitewater. UNC Charlotte won last year's 7s title to finally dethrone UW-Whitewater, who had won three of the prior four USA Rugby Division II titles. The Warhawks won the 2016 and 2017 15s titles and the 2017 7s title.
William Patterson, Hartford, Principia, NC State, Bloomsburg and Montana State join Norwich, UNC Charlotte and UW-Whitewater as repeat finalists from last year's tournament. East Carolina, IUPUI and Iowa Central round out this year's championship field.
The Cadets have drawn East Carolina, IUPUI and Montana State as their three pool play opponents.
Norwich (19-7-3) will face Montana State at 10:20 a.m. Mountain Time (1:20 p.m. Eastern) on Friday to kick off the tournament. The Cadets will then face East Carolina at 1 p.m. Mountain (4 p.m. Eastern) and then they wrap up the day facing IUPUI at 3:40 p.m. Mountain (6:40 p.m. Eastern).
There are three pools of four teams each with the top two teams in each pool, as well as two wild card teams advancing to the eight-team Cup knockout round.
Norwich is in Pool A, while UNC Charlotte, William Patterson, Iowa Central and Bloomsburg comprise Pool B. Pool C consists of UW-Whitewater, 2013 champion Principia, Hartford and North Carolina State.
The Cadets made three straight USA Rugby Division II 15s National Tournament appearances, finished third in 2016 and 2017, before suffering a round of 16 loss to Queens University this past fall.
North Carolina State dethroned UW-Whitewater in the fall to win the 2018 15s title. UNC Charlotte needed an at-large bid to make this year's 7s field after East Carolina won the South Region qualifier.
The Road to Victory
Norwich qualified for the USA Rugby Division II 7s National Championship for the third time in program history by winning the Rugby Northeast Conference 7s title on April 13 at UMass Lowell. The Cadets have had a storybook run the last three seasons, going undefeated in conference play in both 15s and 7s matches the last three years.
Junior Nathan Rolling (Taylorsville, Utah) leads Norwich with 30 tries this spring in 7s action.
You can watch live video of every match of the 2019 USA Rugby Division II Collegiate 7s on www.florugby.com.