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Service Academy Women Still Hope To Play

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Service Academy Women Still Hope To Play

Air Force and Navy look to renew their rivalry. Kirstyn Paynter photo.

The US Service Academy women's teams look like they will have a similar rugby-playing profile to the men's programs.

"For a non-rugby season it's crazy how busy things are," joked West Point Head Coach Bill LeClerc.

Indeed, there's a lot of work to be done. It looks like Army and Navy will play twice, once each at the different campuses. Whether there can be more is a little up in the air. Air Force wants to be in on all of that, and with BYU active, has a good shot at playing the Cougars later in the fall. So it comes down to whether there's enough military transportation for Air Force to get to their games.

"There are a lot of variables that we all have to take into consideration, but we’re planning to compete in some form or fashion," said Air Force Head Coach Amy Rusert. "The goal will be playing with who we have available any given weekend."

All players had to go through a process to get onto campus at the service academies to begin with. Once they navigated those protocols, they had to ease into training, and follow new protocols and regulations within their service academies. 

"At Air Force we’re training in two distinct cohorts," explained Rusert. They will go into even smaller cohorts when the team starts contact.

"We’ll play it by ear and be prepared for any eventuality," continued the Air Force coach, saying the team will play 15s if everyone stays healthy and might move to 10s if they have to eliminate a cohort. 

"The goal will be to execute contests safely, for players to gain experience and knock off some rust," said Rusert. "Ws and Ls not so important."