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7s Training Plan at Heart of St. Joe's Spring

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7s Training Plan at Heart of St. Joe's Spring

As the sun comes out and Spring arrives, many collegiate teams are making the transition from traditional 15s rugby to 7s rugby.

With less than half the players on a field that could measure 100 meters x 70 meters, with only seven-minute halves, 7s is a whole different beast entirely. In order to prepare for the many changes that come along with 7s rugby, teams are changing their focus and workout routines to be fully prepared for the spring.

One team in particular, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa, is switching up their training to make sure they are fully prepared for the upcoming 7s season.

One of the main aspects they’re focusing on is conditioning. During their practices, SJU implements specific 7s cardio training that includes a daily repertoire of sprints and high intensity interval training. Ensuring their cardio is up to par will allow them to compete to the fullest of their ability and allow them to focus on playing smart rugby. Aside from their training on the field, the Hawks also log in a lot of hours in the weight room. President of the club, Patrick Ryan, said on the subject, “While it's important to be fit from a running perspective, we also have to maintain strength for rucking, tackle contests, etc.” 

Another area that St. Joseph’s is working hard to perfect is the art of passing. Members of the team stressed the importance of getting their passing down pat.

“It is imperative that a 7s team is able to move the ball quickly across the field to capitalize on the open space,” said Ryan. Along with passing drills and conditioning, the Hawks also incorporate a lot of 7s specific decision making drills into their practice. Being able to make quick decisions in the heat of the moment can be the single difference between a win and a loss. Errant passes, a lack of communication, etc. are easy mistakes that can be ironed out with smart, consistent practicing. 

It's all worked out pretty nicely so far. The Hawks finished the Keystone Conference 7s Series with 14 wins and no losses. They beat Temple in the final of all three tournaments, 40-12 at Temple, 33-12 at West Chester, and 28-17 at Millersville.

Helping lead them to first place, standout players Thomas Cuddihy and sophomore winger Connor McAuliffe have been playing outstanding rugby with their speed and physicality. Chris Curcio was the Series MVP.

The rest of the spring season will be focused on 7s, as the Hawks next travel to Santa Clara University for the Jesuit 7s tournament. To cap off the season, the Hawks will participate in the CRC 7s invitational just outside their hometown of Philadelphia June 3-4. On a roll and with a specific 7s plan in place, they're looking to win it all.

St. Joseph's 7s Results Keystone 7s Series

St. Joe's 24-5 West Chester
St. Joe's 41-12 West Virginia
St. Joe's 45-0 Lock Haven
St. Joe's 41-0 Rowan
St. Joe's 40-12 Temple


West Chester
St. Joe's 46-5 Lock Haven
St. Joe's 36-10 Millersville
St. Joe's 38-5 Pittsburgh
St. Joe's 31-12 West Chester
St. Joe's 33-12 Temple


St. Joe's 29-10 West Virginia
St. Joe's 20-12 West Chester
St. Joe's 27-12 Millersville
St. Joe's 28-17 Temple



- Kevin Simoni