June 17, 2016
Brian Achenbach | Travis Prior
LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Five qualifying events are set for June 18 as teams make their initial push towards a place in the 2016 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championships, to be held August 13-14.
In the Midwest, the western half of the division gets its first crack in sevens at the Madtown 7s in Madison, Wisc. In the Southern Competitive Region, both the Florida and True South Division get underway at Fiji 7s and NOLA 7s, respectively.
Some of the very best teams on the east coast, and in the country, fill out a must-see men's field at Atlantic North's first qualifier Monmouth 7s. At OMBAC 7s in San Diego the field is equally strong, boasting three Pacific Rugby Premiership teams - including the reigning two-time champion Glendale Raptors.
2015 Men's Cup Quarterfinalist Old Blue of New York and '15 third-place finisher Mystic River headline a tough Northeast qualifier at Monmouth 7s. Both Mystic River and Old Blue were bounced by eventual Champions Seattle Saracens during the second day at Nationals last year.
Old Blue has two teams playing in opposite sides of the bracket, so there is no avoiding a rematch of the May 22 National Semifinal in 15s that saw Mystic River onto the Final, where it crowned itself Champions following its defeat of the Austin Blacks.
The Monmouth field will also include Bulldog Rugby, Long Island Rugby, the Village Lions, White Planes Rugby, and a New York Athletic Club team that reached a National Quarterfinal in sevens as recently as 2014. The clubs of Long Island (2001) and White Plains (1996) have history at Nationals, as well.
Although the eight-side men's qualifier is the only one scheduled for Monmouth 7s, six other tournaments will be competed on the day. Included in the slate of tournaments are boys and girls high school brackets, and a women's open field that should act as quality preparation for future Northeast qualifiers for the likes of 2014 Cup Finalist Old Blue, which will enter two squads, and the Women's Premier Leagues' New York Rugby.