Sacramento, Calif. – The Sacramento State Hornets Rugby Club will be hosting the first ever California State Sevens Tournament on October 19 at the Sacramento State Rugby Field on campus in Sacramento, Calif.
The tournament will showcase exclusively California State University rugby clubs, many of which who will meet on the pitch for the first time. The winner will claim the first ever CSU 7s Championship, something each of these schools would be proud to take home to their respective campus to help bolster support for rugby at their university.
After multiple California State Universities began to express considerable interest in this type of tournament format, Hornets Head Coach Adam Macrae decided to put the steps in motion to organize the event. There are currently 12 California State University teams with rugby clubs, and although there are only nine tournament seeds, each team has been notified and invited to attend. Although all have expressed interest and enthusiasm for the tournament, only half have paid the registration fee to confirm their attendance so there is still room for the remaining clubs to register. CSU Rugby Clubs who have not officially registered are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to guarantee a spot in the tournament.
Coach Macrae is an alumnus of Sacramento State and a former standout in the backline, and he says he is thrilled that the Olympic code of rugby is growing so quickly at the college level. So naturally it seemed like a perfect time for this type of event to come to fruition.
“Each year 7s rugby is gaining more and more momentum, especially at the college level. We are seeing various regions organize tournaments with similar themes and we decided this would be a great opportunity to showcase the talent of the California State University rugby clubs,” stated Coach Macrae. “15s is great but 7s offers a special type of excitement, and I think American audiences who are unfamiliar with rugby will be quicker to appreciate the sport after watching 7s. We are very excited to host this event and we are getting similar feedback from the teams who have confirmed their attendance at the tournament.”
The California State Sevens Tournament will emulate the same format of the sport that will debut at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The Olympic code features seven-minute halves, three-man scrums, and a wide-open style of rugby with long runs, fast passing, and big hits.
Sacramento State Captain Travis Haugen says his team is hyped for the weekend. “We have started 7s training and there is a ton of energy at our practices. We have great numbers and the competition for spots is high. I tell the guys that the U.S. will be playing this version of rugby at the Olympics, and it creates a different sense of passion and pride at practice. It is fun to be a part of and we are very excited to host the inaugural California State 7s Championship.”
Sacramento State will be hosting the tournament, which could feature CSU Rugby Clubs including Chico State, San Jose State, Cal Maritime, Long Beach State, Monterey State, Cal Poly SLO, Humboldt State, Cal State Northridge, Fresno State, San Francisco State, and San Diego State. This group comprises all twelve of the California State Universities with rugby teams, but only nine will be playing in the tournament. The first nine to register will solidify their chance to compete for the inaugural State 7s Championship and be crowned the first California State 7s Champion.
“We hope this tournament will be the beginning of a long-standing tradition,” said Coach Macrae. “The logistics and available space on campus required us to cap the tournament to nine teams, but we are hoping the tournament will continue to grow in future years and the maximum amount of CSU teams will be able to compete. We also hope this may encourage other CSU schools to start rugby clubs on their campuses.”
The California State 7s Tournament will be sponsored by Canterbury of New Zealand and The Up and Under Bar and Grill out of Point Richmond, CA. Up and Under Bar and Grill is the ultimate pub for any rugby enthusiast and owned by Sacramento State alumnus and member of the 2000 D-2 National Championship team. Trivers and Up and Under Bar and Grill will be catering the event and donating all of the proceeds to the CSUS Rugby Club. Canterbury will be donating the official match balls for the tournament.
“Our goal for weekend will be to provide these teams with a spirited tournament format for 7s rugby,” added Coach Macrae. “All of these teams are great clubs and I know the level of play will be high, but it adds an extra sense of purpose when there is the chance of being crowned the CSU champion. It should make for an excited, competitive weekend of 7s rugby.”