The Norwich men's rugby team will open the National Championship tournament Saturday morning against Southern Connecticut State in Colorado. The Cadets qualified for the USA Rugby Division II 7s National Championship for the first time in program history by winning the New England Collegiate Rugby Conference title in late April.
Norwich is seeded sixth overall out of the 12-team field and have been drawn into one of three four-team pools with Southern Connecticut State, Hartford and defending national champs, Principia out of Illinois.
The Cadets will play all three of the other teams in the pool on Saturday. The top two teams from each pool and two wild cards will advance to the eight team knockout round to determine the national title.
It's been an amazing year for Norwich rugby, which went unbeaten in conference play in both 15s and 7s, and now they'll get to test themselves against the best teams in the country this weekend.
"It's a rugby match. It's just like any other 7s game we play," Norwich rugby head coach, Bob Weggler said. "The school has supported us. Even though it's after graduation, they're allowing us to go and financially supporting us."
It's been an amazing year for Norwich rugby, which went unbeaten in conference play in both 15s and 7s, and now they'll get to test themselves against the best teams in the country.
"I've got to see the grips of everybody, what they bring to the table," Senior, Keegan Frick said. "I've just kept telling them, since day one, that they just have to keep believing in each other. You have to trust one another, and if you do that we should be successful, because we've got some athletes on this team."
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