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Harvard Hosts Dartmouth at New Field

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Harvard Hosts Dartmouth at New Field

Mignone Field is ready for business.

It’s a soft opening for the new Harvard University rugby field, but it’s an opening.

Harvard’s Men’s, Women’s, and Business School teams will now play on Robert Mignone Field, so-named because Mignone was a major donor for the project. The field is located near the Harvard football stadium, and is an impressive facility, with bleacher seats and a press box.

The Harvard women will play today, Friday, against Brown, and then on Saturday the men will host Dartmouth. The official opening of the field will be October 15, when the Men, Women, and Business School teams all host games.

For the men’s team, this will be a tough start to the Ivy League schedule.

The Harvard squad had an intense five-day camp to start the season, with former USA Strength & Conditioning Coach Dave Williams coming in for some sessions, and longtime New Zealand scrum specialist Dan Cron working with them on set piece.

After openers against Northeastern and Salve Regina, Harvard has their biggest challenge of the season to kick off the Ivy League.

“It’s been a good buildup,” said Coach Mike Diamantopoulos. “Most of last year’s team is back, and I guess this game will tell us who we are. It’s a tough way to start, but it could be a good thing for us.”

Among the players to watch for Harvard are Robbie Waddilove, a South Africa-trained player who looks good at flyhalf, and junior lock Brian Cornyn, who was a standout at Fordham prep and lead the way in the forwards. Tighthead prop Hagen Puller, out of Xaverian HS, will also be key in setting the platform.

And maybe a few more will come to the fore as the season progresses. Watch out for young Daniel Polatajko, a talented, Scottish-trained fullback who can read the game well.

Also this weekend in the Men’s Ivy League, an improved Penn visits Brown, while Yale is at Cornell.

Dartmouth, despite a couple of preseason losses, is still favored to win the league, but the race for second is a very tight one.