New York, NY–On Thursday, June 20th, leaders in the sport of rugby hosted a rugby round-table at the world-renowned New York Athletic Club announcing the creation and telecast of the Varsity Cup Championship, college rugby’s post-season series and championship featuring the traditional 15 man game.
The Varsity Cup was formed in 2013 by a group of leading college and university rugby programs dedicated to growing rugby at the collegiate level, enriching the experience for its student-athletes and increasing the visibility of college rugby to a national audience.
In an effort to expand the series and increase its exposure, the group tapped United World Sports (UWS), owners and operators of premier events including the USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament in Las Vegas, which is part of the IRB World Seven Series, the Collegiate 7s Rugby Championship in Philadelphia and the Pro Soccer Challenge; and NBC Sports Network, part of the Olympic broadcasting network and global leader in producing and broadcasting world-class television programming.
UWS CEO John Prusmack said this groundbreaking partnership will help deliver rugby to the main stream sports fan.
“The goal is to take collegiate rugby out of the back water,” Prusmack said, “And put it on dry land and sunshine. And I think that this will result in what we’re calling the competition of champions.”
NBC Sports Director of Business Development Gary Quinn echoed Prusmack’s sentiments saying the Varsity Cup was clearly the elite competition that will aid NBC’s continued rugby expansion within the American television complex.
“We made a commitment to this sport four years ago,” Quinn said, “We’re so excited about the growth potential of the sport…[the Varsity Cup] is the best of the best on the collegiate side of the game and we’re even more bullish on the game after the last four years. Its time for this sport to be exposed more on the national level.”
The Varsity Cup is a championship rugby series featuring leading colleges and universities including but not limited to: Air Force, BYU, California, Central Washington, Dartmouth, Navy, Notre Dame and UCLA. The series will be hosted throughout the United States culminating in a championship match that will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network on May 3, 2014.
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.
For more information on United World Sports, please visit: www.unitedworldsports.com.