STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - Baron Rugby is set to become one of the founding members of the Three Rivers Rugby Conference this season. The conference was launched this week with the formal approval and sanctioning of USA Rugby and the National Small College Rugby Organization.
USA Rugby, the governing body for collegiate rugby, is in the middle of a four year plan to change from its previous regional format to a conference format. NSCRO will continue to govern the small college rugby playoffs and national championship.
Helping found the 3RRC puts FUS one year ahead of USA Rugby's deadline for small colleges to join a conference and will also give FUS a chance to automatically qualify for the NSCRO playoffs by winning the conference.
USA Rugby's presentation on restructuring said that "the new conference based structure would put college stakeholders in a position to govern the game at their level under the auspices of USA Rugby."
Along with Franciscan University, founding members of the Three Rivers Rugby Conference are Fairmont State University, Grove City College, and Robert Morris University. Franciscan's Director of Rugby Operations Mark Hanrahan has accepted the position of commissioner of the conference.
"It is great to see other small college rugby coaches and administrators with the same vision and passion for small college rugby," Hanrahan said.
With the formation of the conference so close to the start of the season and much of the nation's small college rugby teams still in transition, the 3RRC will honor all games already scheduled through current the regional governing body, The Allegheny Rugby Union.
The Carnegie Mellon Rugby Football Club and the Clarion University Rugby Football Club are in the application process to join the 3RRC and are pending conference recognition.