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Arizona State Joins Varsity Cup

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Arizona State Joins Varsity Cup

Arizona State has joined the Varsity Cup, United World Sports announced today.
 
The Sun Devils will compete in the single-elimination tournament next spring.
 
“On behalf of the Varsity Cup universities and our commercial partner, United World Sports, I offer a sincere welcome to Arizona State,” Varsity Cup founder and Brigham Young Head Coach David Smyth said in Varsity Cup's announcement. “The Sun Devils are a rugby program on the rise, with strong support from their administration and local community. They will be another natural fit for the Varsity Cup.”
 
With Arizona State joining the privately-run invitational tournament, the Varsity Cup now boasts a field of 14 teams, along with: Air Force, Arkansas State, BYU, Cal, Central Washington, Clemson, Dartmouth, Navy, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, and Utah
 
BYU is the two-time winner of the Varsity Cup, which kicked off in 2013. The Cougars have beaten Cal in each of the two finals.
 
The Varsity Cup has been a single-elimination tournament, with teams meeting in regionals and super-regionals leading to the championship match. Last season, four teams received byes to the quarterfinals, with an initial round being players among the other eight. This coming season, the tournament could expand to 16, meaning that there are no byes, or could stay at 14 with a multi-tiered bye system.
 
The carrot for everyone is the final, shown live on NBC Sports Network. However, top on the list for the Varsity Cup organizers will have to be ramping up the exposure of the semifinals and the earlier rounds, which have been shown on a variety of webcast platforms.
 
Still, colleges are attracted to the exposure the Varsity Cup promises.
 
“We are excited about the opportunity for our rugby team and pleased about Arizona State’s inclusion in the Varsity Cup, where the program will compete among the sport’s elite,” said Ray Anderson, Director of Athletics at ASU.
 
ASU first started playing rugby in 1975, and recently announced a partnership with the Brumbies of Super Rugby. 
 
“We are building for our future and see our inclusion as a necessary aspect of our development,” said Head Coach Gary Lane. “In recent years, we declined invitations to participate in the USA Rugby postseason and it was always our hope to receive a Varsity Cup place.”