The first Northeast RFU 7s qualifier gets underway in Braintree, Mass. Saturday with the South Shore 7s.
It’s not a big Qualifier field, as five teams battle for points leading to the NRU championship and a place in the National 7s Club Championships.
NYAC has decided not to play 7s this summer, and Mystic River, which qualified for the national tournament last year, isn’t in Braintree, either. Instead Boston is fielding two teams, and Old Blue, Middlesex and Cape Cod round out the Qualifier field.
Boston Head Coach Kevin Immonje is particularly excited about his team.
“We have some good young players from colleges around the Northeast,” Immonje told RUGBYMag.com. “And we add to that some very experienced players – we have a lot of experience – and we’ve got a deep squad.”
Kyle Marshall, who played for the USA 7s team in Dubai, Duran Vota, who has been in USA camps before, join Derrick Wavomba and Brennan Moore in a core group that has been to two straight national tournaments.
“We gave these guys some time off after the Super League season, but we’re getting back in it nopw, and I feel good about it,” said Immonje.
Newcomers to the club roster include collegians Sam Rabb (Brown), Collin Yip (BC), Julian Rowlands (Rutgers) and Garrett Lincoln (Gettysburg College). Meanwhile some players from other clubs or cities are also coming to Boston, including Mystic’s Adnan Kawama.
The same story goes on at Old Blue, where NYAC 7s aficionado Dave Rader will bolster their forwards, and Penn State standout Kevin Kimble heads a college crop that includes Bobby McMahon (Columbia), Robert Keehn (UNH) and Johannes Cronje (Rutgers).
It’s the usual migration of players looking for 7s opportunities during the summer. Boston, with two teams entered into the South Shore 7s, hopes to provide not only opportunity, but some victories.