FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Provo, UT— The Varsity Cup announced today that Clemson University will join the Varsity Cup National Collegiate Rugby Championship beginning in the 2014 spring season.
Clemson completed the 2013 season finishing second in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League with a 10-2 record, behind 2013 Varsity Cup semifinalist the Naval Academy. The Tigers went deep into their respective post season reaching the national quarterfinals.
Clemson head coach Justin Hickey felt the Tigers’ inclusion in the Varsity Cup was sign of his program’s progress.
“Clemson is incredibly excited to join the Varsity Cup,” Hickey said, “The Varsity Cup has quickly become a premier competition, and it is an honor to receive the invitation and to be associated with programs of such rich history and tradition. With the vision of the Varsity Cup, its teams, and the direction of our program, the timing is right and we look forward to an excellent future for the competition.”
The Clemson Tigers are set to join the Varsity Cup having agreed to a participation commitment for the 2014 and 2015 post seasons. The decision to support Clemson’s entry into the Varsity Cup came with the unanimous backing of the Varsity Cup universities.
BYU rugby coach David Smyth commented, “Clemson is one of the top emerging rugby programs in the country and was a natural fit for the Varsity Cup’s expansion.”
“The Varsity Cup has identified Clemson as a top, consistently high performing rugby team from an NCAA university in the southeastern US,” Smyth continued, “The decision to extend an invitation to Clemson was arrived at through our due diligence in examining their team, and our belief that their program structure and coaching, along with their university support to be top notch. The Clemson Tigers will be a great addition to the Varsity Cup for the coming seasons.”
The addition of the Clemson Tigers brings the total number of Varsity Cup teams for the 2014 competition to 10 including 2013’s eight original teams and the recent addition of the University of Texas.
ABOUT THE VARSITY CUP: The Varsity Cup is America’s top collegiate postseason championship. The mission of the Varsity Cup is to grow American rugby by harnessing the collective strength of collegiate rugby and collegiate sport in general. The Varsity Cup features eight of the most recognized and accomplished collegiate rugby programs in the country vying for the right to be named the Varsity Cup National Collegiate Champion.
The eight Varsity Cup teams are the U.S. Air Force Academy, Brigham Young University, the University of California, Dartmouth College, the U.S. Naval Academy, Notre Dame, the University of California, Los Angeles and Central Washington University. In the 33 years of the collegiate rugby championship play 31 of the collegiate national champions have come from one of the eight Varsity Cup teams. In total, a Varsity Cup program has played for the collegiate title in every year of the championship’s existence except for 1984.
The eight Varsity Cup programs also boast hundreds of Collegiate All Americans and scores of USA National Team members making the Varsity Cup a veritable proving ground of American rugby. With the country’s best high-performance training facilities, state of the art match venues and strong coaching experience, the eight Varsity Cup programs set the standard for elite player development in America.
BYU won the 2013 Varsity Cup National Championship in dramatic fashion with a last-second drop goal to beat California 27-24 in front of a packed South Field Stadium on May 4th.