St. Bonaventure will play in the men’s USA Rugby College Sevens National Championship over the Memorial Day weekend.
To be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., the tournament begins with two pool games Friday and one on Saturday. Playoff rounds continue Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
This is the Bonnies’ first appearance in a USA Rugby championship tournament since spring 2013 when they advanced to the D1-AA Elite Eight with a win over Middlebury.
Ranked No. 6 in the nation, the SBU sevens team is undefeated this spring, winning tournaments hosted by Notre Dame College (NDC Challenge Cup), University of Maryland (Capital Sevens Series Tournament #2), Kutztown University (Kutztown Sevens), as well as its own tournament (St. Bonaventure Sevens).
“It’s always an honor to represent St. Bonaventure at this level and I’m confident the team will be well-prepared and ready to compete,” said Clarence Picard, longtime head coach of the program. “This is an exciting step forward for the program, but the guys have kept level heads and understand the challenge in front of them.”
On Friday, the Bonnies play California Polytechnic State University at 5 p.m. and Lindenwood University at 8:40 p.m. SBU plays Fordham at 12:20 p.m. Saturday.
This is St. Bonaventure’s fourth season of competitive rugby sevens play; the team plays fifteen-man rugby in the fall. The tournament will be the last as Bonnies for graduate student John Sullivan and seniors Dan Dillon, Jordan Farrant, Pat Hogan and Paul Schulick.
“We all have the same mindset, that we want to compete with the best teams in the nation,” Sullivan said. “This growth is important because it has brought us together as a team, and that unity is the reason behind our success this last season.”
The team has been buoyed by the addition of eight freshmen on the 15-man tournament roster, as well as Coach Andrew Tui Osborne, who guided Life University to the 2011 College Sevens title.
“The boys have been improving by the tournament and we hope to peak in North Carolina,” Osborne said.
For a full schedule and directions to WakeMed Park, go to http://usacollege7s.com.
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