Written by Press Release    Friday, 15 June 2012 11:04    PDF Print Write e-mail
Texas Joins ARC, Likely DI-A
Colleges - Men's DI College

The Texas Longhorns have decided to join the Allied Rugby Conference (ARC) for the 2012-2013 season, and it is expected that the ARC will participate in D1-A. They join charter members Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Sam Houston State.

There had been recent discussions that a super conference would form in Texas with at least 16 teams including Oklahoma. When those plans did not materialize, Texas decided to move forward with the newly formed D1-A Allied Rugby Conference.

The Longhorns will also compete in the D1-AA Southwest Collegiate Rugby Conference (SWC), where they will be ineligible for D1-AA playoffs. The Longhorns will continue exploring post-season options such as a football bowl-type series against other conferences.

"Our belief is that a dual conference membership will put us in the best position to continue growing rugby on UT’s campus. With the size of our program, this dual membership will allow every player at UT to compete in competitive and meaningful games,” said Texas team president Skylar Talley. “We look forward to our new affiliation with the ARC and continuing our relationship with the SWC.”

"Competing in the ARC lets us play conference matches against our traditional rivals," said second-year Texas head coach Butch Neuenschwander. "It also gives our players a clear path to the national teams. It's the next step for our program and we hope the SWC and ARC see UT as a valued member."

"The University of Texas adds significant value to the conference as a rising rugby program and highly marketable brand," stated ARC Executive Director, Johnny Smith. "The re-establishment of long-standing rivalries is something that will energize the players and fans alike."

The Longhorns are 11-2 in conference play under Neuenschwander, and last season they finished 7-0 in the Southwest Conference, advancing to the D1-AA Championship before losing to two-time National Champions Davenport in the round of 16.

The Longhorns also boast an active sevens program. They are one of only two teams to compete in the USA Rugby Sevens national championship, the Las Vegas Invitational, and the Collegiate Rugby Championship last season.