The Emory rugby team accepted a bid for the Division II and Division III USA Rugby 7s National Tournament. The team qualified after beating the only other non-Division I team playing in the “Battle for Atlanta” November 2.
The regular rugby season is the spring, when the better known fifteen-on-fifteen, 40-minute-halved version of rugby is played.
In the fall, the seven-on-seven, seven-minute-halved version of rugby, known simply as “sevens,” is played. While both versions of rugby favor quickness over brute strength, the importance of speed increases logarithmically in 7s.
This is good for Emory, a team largely based around quickness according to Emory rugby captain and president Henry Yelin.
Emory will be able to take 12 of their 21 7s players to Greensboro, NC November 22-23 to play in the tournament.
This will be the third time this event has taken place, but the first time Emory has received a bid. This reflects well on the still-developing Emory squad.
Yelin spoke of the progress that the Eagles rugby team has made.
“We came from having very little 7s to going to the national championship in a really short amount of time,” he said.
Eight other teams will compete in the non-Division I bracket. Emory is the only Division III team competing in the tournament.
Last Saturday, the Eagles won the 2nd Annual Veterans Day 7s Tournament in Athens, Ga. against adult rugby clubs.
Yelin came away impressed with the competition at the tournament.
“These teams are often more challenging than college teams.,” Yelin said.
Between the two teams in the tournament, their record was 3-3.
The competition will serve the Eagles well as they prepare for the tournament. It will be another large step in the development of a rapidly improving squad.
– By Zak Hudak