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Preparing for CRC

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Collegiate Rugby Championships Put Nittany Lions on National Stage

While the spring season has yet to play out, Penn State rugby fans are keeping an eye on June 8 when the men’s squad heads to Philadelphia to play in front of a national audience.

The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships (CRC) is an annual rugby sevens invitational played at Talen Energy Stadium – the home of the MLS’ Philadelphia Union. With rugby sevens played as an Olympic sport in 2016 for the first time in nearly a century, the CRC allows collegiate athletes to test their mettle in front of a national TV audience.

With a tough slate of opponents expected, Penn State men’s head coach Justin Hundley said his squad is preparing for the challenge as the spring 15s season nears.

“It is always a pleasure to be invited to one of the biggest rugby events in the country and we will look to put the best product out on the field." - Coach Hundley

“It is always a pleasure to be invited to one of the biggest rugby events in the country and we will look to put the best product out on the field, with a quick turn-around from the end of the 15s season,” Hundley said.

Men’s Squad Preparing for the Heat

With the USA Rugby Playoffs wrapping up in May, Hundley’s squad will be tasked with getting up to speed quickly on sevens as the CRC approaches.

Hundley said the main task is preparing for the speed of the game – and the heat of Philadelphia in the summer.

“We will take the four weeks post-graduation and run a mini-7s camp to get the volume up in training, to prepare for the fitness level needed to perform in sevens in the heat,” Hundley said. “It is a crucible for the players involved, but it is also a fun few weeks being able to play and train like a professional athlete on the world sevens series.”

An Opportunity to Highlight Penn State Athletics

While the CRC is a great opportunity for the men’s squad to compete against the best, Hundley said the tournament is also a great showcase for Penn State athletics as a whole.

“It is an opportunity, as any match is, to put our name on the board and compete in the best atmosphere in collegiate rugby in the U.S.,” Hundley said. “7s is a high stakes game and the very successful teams are the ones that can handle that stress and recover quickest from mistakes.”

Hundley said the support of Penn State alumni is a huge factor for his squad, and he is working to make the fans proud with his players’ performance on the field.

“Without the alumni support every year, we would be unable to compete in the event, and my goal is that our on-field performance is something for them to be proud of and be excited to put on their PSU gear and come out and support the team,” he said. For more information on the squad and the CRC, visit www.rugby.psu.edu.