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Rugby East Unveils 2024 Schedule

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Rugby East Unveils 2024 Schedule

Mount St. Mary's vs Mary Washington from last fall. David Hughes photo.

The Rugby East Conference has announced its 2024 Fall season schedule.

The upcoming season introduces some changes, with Belmont Abbey College and Walsh University joining. Belmont Abbey joins the Rugby East after a number of successful years competing within the Southern Rugby Conference, while Walsh is a new program who welcomed their players and staff from the now defunct Notre Dame College.

Walsh University to Adopt Notre Dame College Rugby Programs

Now with 12 programs, the Rugby East is divided up into two geographic divisions, North and South. Each program will play all opponents within their own division and up to two crossover matches from the opposite group.

Army, Kutztown, Navy, Penn State, and St. Bonaventure will welcome Walsh (based in the Canton, Ohio area) to compete in the North Division. Belmont Abbey (Belmont, NC) joins Life, Mary Washington, Mount St. Mary's, Queens Charlotte and Southern Virginia in the South Division.

The 2024 conference season kicks off September 14 with Mary Washington heading to West Point, NY to face Army, Walsh goes to Kutztown, Navy is at St. Bonaventure, Penn State heads to Mount St. Mary’s and Southern Virginia traveling to Belmont Abbey.

Other key dates and matchups include Walsh University's first conference home match against Belmont Abbey on September 28. On October 19, former Chesapeake Conference foes, Mary Washington and Mount St. Mary’s, will meet in Emmitsburg, Md., while the Life Running Eagles head to Annapolis, Md. for a rematch of this past season's D1A National Championship Semifinal against the Navy Midshipmen.

Queens travels up to Penn State and St. Bonaventure heads to Kutztown on October 26. And the conference's oldest rivalry, Army-vs-Navy, occurs on September 28 in Annapolis.

Over the past three years, the Rugby East has produced two D1A champions (Army in 2021-22 and Navy in 2022-23) and two NCR D1 champions (St. Bonaventure in fall of 2021 and Notre Dame College in the fall of 2023). In the years where Rugby East did not produce a champion in those competitions, they had a team in the final.

Teams within the conference all register with USA Rugby, but not all compete in D1A. Kutztown, St. Bonaventure, Belmont Abbey, and Queens have in the past few years pursued the NCR postseason in the fall and then switched to 7s (maybe with a little 15s mixed in). Notre Dame College was NCR also and Walsh is likely to be also. The rest: Army, Navy, Penn State, Life, UMW, Mount St. Mary;s, and Southern Virginia, pursue a D1A postseason.