UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; October 19, 2015 – The Penn State men’s rugby team has accepted an invitation to compete in the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup for the national championship.
Army also is joining the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup to increase to 16 the number of teams participating in the competition. The Varsity Cup is organized by United World Sports, who also own the Collegiate Rugby Championships (CRC), and is sponsored by Penn Mutual. NBC Sports is the TV partner for the Varsity Cup.
The Penn State men’s and women’s rugby clubs are team sports with oversight by Intercollegiate Athletics.
“Penn State is honored to accept an invitation to join the Varsity Cup,” said Assistant Athletic Director Michael Cross. “The opportunity to align with the best rugby programs in the country is a testament to Penn State’s strength as a program and its historical excellence. The Varsity Cup provides an excellent way to increase awareness of rugby nationally through significant TV exposure and we look forward to a long partnership.”
“We are ecstatic about the opportunity to join the Varsity Cup,” said Penn State men’s rugby head coach Blake Burdette “There will be challenges, but challenges bring great opportunities. We are excited about the opportunity we have moving forward.”
Participation in the Varsity Cup will allow Penn State men’s rugby to maintain rivalries with programs such as Army, Navy, BYU and California. Penn State’s participation in the Varsity Cup will not change its membership in the Rugby East Conference and will provide a competitive fall schedule.
“The Nittany Lions have been among the very best rugby teams in U.S. collegiate history,” said Jack Clark, Cal head coach and a Varsity Cup co-founder. “Penn State is always well-coached and well-supported; they bring so much to the Varsity Cup post-season.”
The 2016 Penn Mutual Varsity Club will be held next spring, with the championship on May 2.