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Navy Men's Program Moving To Rugby East Conference

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Navy Men's Program Moving To Rugby East Conference

Colleen McCloskey photo.

The US Naval Academy men’s team is moving to the Rugby East.

The program announced today that it will be leaving the Mid-South after three years and joining another D1A conference.

Navy played in the Mid-South the last two seasons, going 3-2 in an incomplete season this past fall (Lindenwood stood at 4-1 and Life at 2-1 and two games left to play). In 2018 the Midshipmen were 3-2 and second in the conference, and in 2018 they played as an independent.

The move, then, clearly, is not about the Mid-South being too strong. Rugby East is pretty strong, too, and from top to bottom is as consistently solid as any conference in the nation. The conference includes Army, Penn State, Kutztown, St. Bonaventure, and Notre Dame College.

“Ut’s a highly competitive conference,” said Navy Head Coach Gavin Hickie. “They’ve got a fellow service academy in Army in there. We have a lot of those teams on our schedule anyway, and with the constraints on travel we’re anticipating for this coming season, it makes sense right now.”

Hickie said he still wants to play Mid-South teams, and also said he’s looking at securing a game with Cal at Annapolis in March. The Midshipmen will also likely play MLR team DC Old Glory in the spring.

“But we are going to the Rugby East and our plan is to try to win that conference in what will be a highly competitive spring season,” he said.

This fall, Navy will be in action and is expected to play Army twice, and also Air Force, if the travel works out.

“You look at the schedule we’re putting together, and it’s very, very competitive,” said Hickie. “We want a hard game every weekend and we’ll get that as well in the Rugby East. In the Rugby East we’re going to have a game every week where you don’t know what the outcome will be beforehand. We’re very excited about it.”