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Gateway Conference Joins NSCRO D2 Division

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Gateway Conference Joins NSCRO D2 Division

UMS&T in this past fall's playoffs.

The Gateway Rugby Conference has announced that it will join the NSCRO Open Division D2 Competition beginning Fall 2020. 

The Gateway Rugby Conference was created in 2012 as USA Rugby reorganized various aspects of community rugby. The initial teams joining the Gateway Conference came from the Missouri Rugby Football Union, the Heart of America Union, and the WI-IL Union.  Most teams in the conference operate independent of any current geographic union.

The conference has expanded from an initial seven D2 teams to it’s current ten squads over the past several years. This expansion has coincided with an improvement of the overall level of play.

Over the past eight years the Gateway Conference has sent five different universities to compete at nationals and the conference takes great pride in the parity among the squads. The first D2 Men’s 7s National Championship was won by Principia College. In the following years the Gateway saw as many as three out of twelve spots at annual 7s National Championships filled by Gateway squads due to winning automatic qualifiers nationwide.  Saint Louis University qualified for Nationals eight times during this span finishing as high as second, and last year UMS&T finished third overall at the 15’s National Championships.

UMS&T ended the fall of 2019 ranked #5 by Goff Rugby Report, while Pitt State was ranked #13. SLU earned a #21 ranking.

The current teams in the Gateway Conference are from the states of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas. Here are the teams:

Southern Illinois University
Principia College
Washington University
Saint Louis University
Maryville University
University of Missouri – Science & Technology
University of Central Missouri
University of Missouri – Kansas City
Pittsburg State University
John Brown University (Joined fall 2019)

“NSCRO as an entity is focused on the well-being of college rugby as its main and only priority," said Gateway commissioner Justin Whitton. "It is our belief this entity is not only best positioned to fill the void created by the USAR restructuring, but also to finally implement a plan towards the short and long-term growth of collegiate rugby in America at every level.  Having objectively evaluated all potential avenues for our ten teams, NSCRO’s motivation and intent along with their existing organizational structure was without question our best option going forward."