New Orleans — In New Orleans, LA, Loyola University has decided to throw their hands into the ring when it comes to competing in Rugby Sevens. The Loyola Rugby team will be opening their inaugural Collegiate 7’s tournament this weekend. This tournament is a 6-team, 2 division, round robin, that will feature teams from LSU, Mississippi State, Loyola and West Florida. Loyola and LSU will also be featuring their B-squads to complete the 6 team roster.
As the Olympics get closer, people will begin to see an increase in Rugby Sevens tournaments, particularly at the Collegiate level, as Rugby Sevens will be the featured sport. In addition, with USA Rugby announcing that the National Collegiate 7’s Championships date were moved to November 23-24th this year, more collegiate rugby teams are seeing an opportunity to compete for the championships, while they have their players in school.
Tournament coordinator and Loyola rugby player, Allen Alongi, explained the importance of embarking on this venture.
Considering the reconstruction USA Rugby has taken towards 7’s, we feel it provides a platform for teams in all divisions and throughout the gulf coast region to have a great way to prepare for the newly created Fall 7’s season. Our main focus remains to be 15-a-side rugby. We want to remain a constant contender in both 7’s and 15’s and we feel this will help us keep our structure. Our main goal is to qualify for Philadelphia next summer.
Loyola Collegiate 7’s tournament starts Saturday, near the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, at Zoo Dr, New Orleans, LA 70118. Kickoff is set for 9:30am.