Tucson, Ariz – The University of California looks to Arizona for their next challenge, as the Bears tour the Grand Canyon State this weekend to face the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils.
Cal is coming off a 109-0 pasting of Stanford in the Scrum Axe rivalry match, and a defeat of Sacramento State as well.
The Golden Bears visit the University of Arizona on Friday, Feb. 3, for a 7pm meeting at Kino Stadium. Then on Sunday, Feb. 5, they take on ASU at 1pm.
It will be the first trip for the Bears to Arizona since 2004, when Cal recorded convincing wins over both teams.
The Wildcats are one of the few domestic sides to have beaten the Bears in the last 25 years, defeating Cal, 6-3, at the 1987 San Diego Invitational Tournament.
Arizona is coming off a 26-21 defeat of San Diego State on Saturday, but Head Coach Dave Sitton knows this will be a tougher test.
“This is a great opportunity for our players and our program,” said Sitton. “Roughly 46 of our players will learn in intimate fashion the nuance and the force necessary to win at the highest level of college rugby.”
In their last meeting, Cal defeated the Wildcats, 22-3, in a tournament match at the 2011 Dennis Storer Classic.
The Sun Devils, who lost a narrow 26-22 match to the Wildcats in December before beating Claremont Colleges, 57-15, in January, figure to be a similar test for the Bears. Arizona State will be at the Las Vegas Invitational the following weekend attempting to earn the remaining at-large bid available at the CRC.
The match at ASU will be the first between the Bears and Sun Devils since 2005, when Cal shut out ASU on Witter Rugby Field.
"We're a better team than we were then," Lane said.
Arizona will be without Peter Tiberio, who is with the USA 7s team in New Zealand. But they will have fullback Shane Carter, who teams the team in tries and has started strong.
Arizona was also scheduled to host Sacramento State Saturday, but Sac State can’t travel.
California hasn’t lost a 15s match since a 24-23 defeat to British Columbia back during the 2008- 2009 season. The Bears have outscored their opponents 509-16 through six games this season.
Friday’s game will be played at the Kino Sports Complex, the current home of the Triple-A Tucson Padres. The evening of rugby will kick off with a match between the Arizona Freshman team and the Cal Freshman team.