ARC 7s Series kicks off this weekend

from the Allied Rugby Conference:

The ARC 7s Series kickoffs this weekend in Norman Oklahoma with the OU 7’s acting not only as the opening event but as a National Qualifier for the USA Rugby 7s National Championship. The event will be held at the Al Velie Rugby Football Complex on the beautiful campus of Oklahoma University.

Teams from across the region will converge on the Complex in order to compete for the automatic qualifier to Nationals. This includes non-ARC teams Colorado State, Arkansas and Oklahoma State along with ARC members OU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Sam Houston and Baylor University competing in the Varsity Division. Each team will also provide a 2nd team to make up a Junior Varsity Division. The up and coming rugby program at Central Oklahoma University has accepted an invitation to compete in the Junior Varsity division.

The clubs will be competing in 2 pools of four in Varsity and Junior Varsity brackets. You can find brackets and kickoff times here:

 

Varsity Bracket

Pool A

Pool B

A&M

ARK

CSU

SHSU

TT

OU

BAYLOR

OSU

JV Bracket

Pool A

Pool B

A&M

CSU

OU#2

SHSU

TT

OU

BAYLOR

CENTRAL

 

“We are very excited about the event”, cited Conference Commissioner and OU Head Coach Kenny Forehand. “We believe this is the next step in developing the ARC into a strong conference for 7s. Oklahoma University is very happy to be hosting the inaugural event and doing all we can to support OU Rugby and the Allied Rugby Conference.”

Competition for the Qualifying seed should be intense. Oklahoma is a CRC and National Qualifier battled hardened side and Texas A&M has had a 7s program for a couple of years and been to the National Tournament. “Really those 2 sides have to be the favorites on paper” stated Smith. Colorado State, Oklahoma State and Arkansas are a bit of an unknown. If CSU play 7s with the same intensity they play 15s, they will show prepared, organized and ready to smash some people. Arkansas has been playing 7s for two years and beat Texas A&M last year in Fort Worth. Baylor, Texas Tech and Sam Houston just began their 7s program this year but are ready to make a splash. All three attended the recent 7s camp in Huntsville and will be looking to apply those skills during the 7s Series. This should be an enthralling Series and could come right down to the last championship game.

The event has the additional benefit of being broadcast on Monday, October 8th at 8 pm. Oklahoma University RFC and the ARC have partnered with the Oklahoma University Video and Media Services to bring  coverage that will include 3 full hours of selected pool matches and all playoff rounds. ARC Co-Executive Director Johnny Smith explains why the ARC chose a broadcast instead of a live event, “It is our position that we are not just selling the ARC, we are selling 7s as a whole. We feel a rebroadcast give us more control over the final product we put forth to the public. A quality product helps everyone sell the game in the future.” Smith also feels it will increase viewership, “Most rugby players I know are busy on Saturday with their own games. We figure why not create a specific time and place for the ARC events so our target audience can see the games. We plan to do this for all three of our 7s events and an ARC Game of the Week for XV’s.”

The ARC clubs also have the extra incentive of competing for the inaugural ARC 7s cup. The competition is to be played out over three events with each team garnering points to ultimately determine an overall Series Champion, Varsity Champion and a Junior Varsity Champion. More information about the ARC 7s Series standings, points and regulations can be found here.

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