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Seattle Launching Single-School HS 7s Competition

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Seattle Launching Single-School HS 7s Competition

(Seattle Rugby Club release) - The Seattle Rugby Club has announced the formation of three new high school rugby clubs, expanding its network of affiliated youth rugby programs in Washington.  

Seattle, featuring 130+ club players aged 8-18, launched the initiative based on player interest in representing their high school, and; to drive participation across the city of Seattle among new rugby players. 

Working with parents and administrators, high school-based clubs have been approved at Shorecrest, Roosevelt and Nathan Hale High School. Those school clubs will affiliate with Seattle RFC Vikings, to train and play in the spring 2016 15s competition. 

On alternating nights, the players will train for rugby 7s with their high school classmates for a parallel, school-based 7s competition – The Seattle Rugby City Cup, sponsored by Canterbury USA and Integrated Rehabilitation Group.

“We’re adopting a ‘college & club’ model,” said David Miller, one from a cadre of Seattle coaches. “This gives athletes the opportunity to play together in a club, when participation at their school doesn’t permit a full 15s team. And rugby 7s offers an accessible way to get a few kids involved on each campus, for the program to spread.” Said Miller, “American families appreciate the traditions of prep sports, so we’ll provide it through one host club.” 

During bye weeks in the Seattle RFC spring 15s schedule, the high school clubs - and two more high school teams that are expected to join - will play in a cup series of 7s tournaments. Points accumulated in the series will determine the overall Seattle Rugby City Cup champion.

“The 7s format provides the boys more touches with the ball, more experience running lines and tackling, and the opportunity to build their fitness. That’s a good start for rugby,” said Miller.

“Seattle is a unique place to grow rugby,” said Craig Wicks, Club President of Seattle RFC. “Our proximity to Canada and the Pacific Rim provides great exposure to the game. Our temperate climate gives us year-round training.  At times we struggled to reach kids in area high schools. We always knew there was significant interest but we didn’t have a good way to connect.” Said Wicks, “So we decided approach rugby development with a fresh look.”

In spring 2015, the Vikings launched its Boats program, with the core U9-U11 program launching satellite community programs for U9-U11s in Mukilteo (north) and West Seattle. Those junior sides toured Victoria BC in April. 

“Rugby has significantly grown at the college level,” said Miller. “Varsity athletes are starting to see that opportunity now, and want to play.” Said Miller, “So we’re not waiting around and watching. There will be high school varsity rugby here in time. Our job is to foster that development and do our part to close the gap with rugby nations.”