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Life Leads College Influence at Women's Club 7s

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Life Leads College Influence at Women's Club 7s

Former University of Washington standout Erica Legaspi with the old Atavus club that basically morphed into the WAC team. Dropkick photos.

The Women's Club 7s Championships is a relatively small tournament—only 14 teams—but it promises to be highly competitive as the event gets set for Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila this weekend.

Put on by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle, the USA Club 7s Championships may well see the team sponsored by the hosts take home the Signes Cup. 

There's a heavy college influence in the women's teams going to Tukwila, not least of which with WAC seeing players from the University of Washington, Central Washington, and Penn State, but other teams are more heavily influenced. American Rugby Pro has three players from Life University plus players from lesser-celebrated programs such as Illinois-Chicago (Lauren Ebeling), MIssouri (Ciara Clawson), Baylor (Sierra Watkins), and Indiana (Ali Hale). Life's representation doesn't end there. Optimus Rugby features seven recent or current Life players, including Sydnee Cervinski, but they also have Ohio State, Kennesaw State, Lindenwood, and Haylie German, who is an Aquarist at the Georgia Aquarium and went to UW-Stout.

Other teams have heavy influence from one college programs—Santa Monica has a strong connection to UCLA and at least five of the Tempe Ninjas played their college rugby at Arizona State (including current Grand Canyon Head Coach Lindsey Mahoney).  And the Boston Belles have two players from Boston University and four from Harvard, including former captain Milan Roberts and the hugely physical tackler Gen Quirion (see video).

Similarly, the Chicago Lions draws from UIC, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, DePaul, Illinois, and Illinois State. 

The point is that 7s is an excellent way for clubs to form a bridge to college programs. You can never stop recruiting, but recruiting only works if players get a chance to play. The question is, how do summer-only 7s teams help recruit college players to existing 15s teams? Those connections, whether through players or coaches, have to be forged.

Meanwhile, there's a tournament to be played. There are no weak teams here, with Scion (we haven't seen their roster yet), ARPTC, WAC, Life West, Optimus, and Chicago Lions all looking pretty good at first glance. This will be a highly competitive chase.