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Changes in Rugby Illinois, Indiana Boys Leagues

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Changes in Rugby Illinois, Indiana Boys Leagues

Notre Dame de La Salette was one of the best in Rugby Indiana competition, and will be one of the best in Illinois, too.

Big changes are afoot in the Midwest leagues, as both Rugby Indiana and Rugby Illinois have made some adjustments.

The changes come about because of Notre Dame de La Salette. The small Catholic school in downstate Illinois has for years been a nationally-ranked program, and has traditionally played in the Rugby Indiana Super League.

However, La Salette is based in Illinois, and Rugby Illinois has long pushed for the team to be part of their setup. La Salette has opted for the stronger competition of the Rugby Indiana Super League. However, a few things started to become evident over the offseason: 1st, La Salette is a very good team, but winning a Rugby Indiana championship against the likes of Penn and Royal Irish won't ever get easier, and even if they win, they aren't, technically, state champs; 2nd, Rugby Illinois put in a strong pitch for La Salette that joining the Rugby Illinois boys league means they could get a state championship - they certainly would be one of the favored teams right off the bat; 3rd, Rugby Indiana was looking at overhauling the Super League schedule, trying to get more teams to play up a level; 4th, while the travel isn't easy for La Salette, based as they are in Olivet, Ill., near Germantown, the distances (3 hours, generally) are not that much worse than for the Rugby Indiana games (Indianapolis is less than two hours from Olivet, but not much less).

So, all in all, it now seemed to be the time. La Salette will join the Suburban Conference in Illinois, along with New Trier, Arlington, Morton, Neuqua, and the Chiefs. They are automatically one of the favorites to win the state championship.

Meanwhile, the Rugby Indiana Super League has added teams, and is now a two-conference, nine-team league. In the North Bishop Dwenger, Carroll HS, Culver HS, and Penn will fight it out. In the South, it's Royal Irish, Brownsburg, Fishers, HSE, and St. Xavier.

That's right, having lost an out-of-state team, Rugby Indiana gains St. Xavier from Kentucky, looking, as they are, for stronger competition. 

The teams will play a full in-conference schedule, plus some crossover games. The teams will then split up for the state championship, with the top four going for the state cup, and a consolation trophy for the rest.