April 23, 2012

Countdown Begins For Rugby National Championship

Steubenville, Ohio – In every person's life there comes a time where the mind, body, and spirit must work in perfect unison to succeed at a task greater than ever before comprehended. That time for the Franciscan University rugby team is rapidly approaching.

The city of Glendale, Colo., opens its doors to the top four National Small College Rugby Organization teams next weekend, April 28-19, for the National Division III Men's Collegiate Championship. The Barons—currently ranked No. 1—have waited for this day since November.

"The team has a laser-like focus," said head coach Mark Hanrahan, "I think the biggest challenge the guys will face is to not get caught up in the moment. We have a job to do, and that is to play Franciscan Rugby."

Glendale is affectionately termed "Rugbytown USA" due to the importance the city holds rugby as a sport. It hosts local collegiate and senior club matches and various national playoffs at its premiere rugby facility, Infinity Park.

The 4,000-seat rugby stadium will house the two days of competition.

Beginning at 1 p.m. (MT)/3 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, April 28, Franciscan takes on Salve Regina University. The University of North Florida versus Cal Maritime Academy match follows at 3 p.m. (MT)/5 p.m. (EST).

On Sunday, April 29, the battle for third place starts at 11 a.m. (MT)/1 p.m. (EST) with the final championship match beginning at 1 p.m. (MT)/3 p.m. (EST).

It was recently announced by NSCRO that the semifinal matches will be broadcast on FOX Soccer Plus on Tuesday, May 1, at 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. (EST) with an encore presentation of the first semifinal match on May 2 at 6 a.m., and the second semifinal match on May 3 at 6 a.m. (EST).

This is the first time that NSCRO Div. III national playoffs will be televised, "a crucial step for NSCRO as the organization continues its efforts to showcase small college rugby at its best," said Stephen Cohen, president of NSCRO.

For more information about the national championship event, please visit: http://infinityparkatglendale.com/index.php/rugbytown/tournaments/nscro.

Franciscan University Athletics will reveal more details about the event throughout the next few days.

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