The Arkansas State Red Wolves can keep the hopes of winning both the 7s and 15s National Championships in the same season alive if they beat Life in Saturday’s DI-A semifinal in Jonesboro, Ark.
Okay, so there are a lot of college 15s National Championships now, and there have only been a handful of college 7s National Championships so far, but no men's college team has won both a 7s National Championship and a 15s National Championship in the same season, yet.
Norwich's women won the DII 15s National Championship and the 7s title last season. The Cadets won the 7s title again in the fall, and they are in the DI 15s Final Four this weekend in Palo Alto, Calif., so they could be en route to a repeat.
Dartmouth came within a couple of wins of doing it last year. The Big Green won the Collegiate Rugby Championship and made it to the DI-AA semifinals before being bounced by San Diego State. Life was close, too, winning the USA Rugby 7s Championship in the fall of 2011 and losing in the DI-A semifinals to BYU.
Cal could certainly be in the running this year if it wins the Varsity Cup final against BYU in Provo, Utah Saturday, as the Bears will be competing in their fourth-straight CRC this June. But there would surely be a lot of detractors. 'The CRC and Varsity Cup aren't true National Championships,' they'll say.
Dartmouth could win the CRC and the DI-AA National Championships still, too.
But Arkansas State has already claimed one of USA Rugby’s trophies and is just two wins away from taking another.
“The potential to be able to compete for both in the same year is exciting,” said Arkansas State coach Alex Houser. “Obviously, we’ve got a huge hurdle we’ve got to get past before we even get to that championship match, but the prospects certainly are huge when you think about it.”
The feat of winning 7s and 15s National Championships in the same competitive cycle is extremely rare in American rugby, period, as only three clubs have ever even accomplished it, and the club 7s championships have been around since 1985.
Belmont Shore won the 15s DI and 7s club championships in 2012, OMBAC won the Super League and 7s titles in 2006, and Riverside won the DII 15s and 7s trophies in 2003.