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Top Players from All Divisions at NCR College All-Star Tourney

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Top Players from All Divisions at NCR College All-Star Tourney

Laurence Old, hooker for Wheeling, and for Great Lakes. Olly Laseinde photo.

The National Collegiate Rugby all-star competition is slated for this weekend and it's a welcome return to a more general regional select side competition in college rugby.

USA Rugby used to support a collegiate territorial championship, which ran from 1989 to 2011—won 15 times by the Pacific Coast Grizzlies, twice by the East, once each by Southern California, Midwest, and West, and three times, including the last two, by the South. But a change in focus saw the college all-stars go by the wayside as had the men's and women's territorial championships. NCR has run all-star competitions for small colleges, and now this cross-divisional event brings players with talent from all levels into high-level competition at Aveva Stadium in Houston, Texas.

We don't have all the finalized rosters yet but we have seen squads that include a lot of players that performed well at the NCR finals, plus players from less well-known programs. At the NCR finals we did catch up with Holy Cross prop Jack Swords, who will help captain the New England Independents White squad. Swords is the son of USA Eagle great (and Holy Cross alum) Kevin Swords. 

"I talk to my dad a lot, and we have a really good relationships but it's usually stuff like 'what was the score,'" said Jack Swords. "I'm the player on the field now so it's not like Dad telling my how to do it, I'm trying to make a name for myself because ... hey ... he's not on the field!"

We did interview several of these players this fall, including:

Leo Clayburgh

Aiden Kuhn

Elijah Naranja and Milaan Van Wyk

Sean McNamara and Luke Sutherland

Laurence Old

Sam Williams

Yuyo Mdlalose

Rupert Bronkhorst and Andrew MaCullum

The NCR Men's College All-Stars are split into two pools of four. Each team plays three shortened games on Saturday and then go to a quarterfinal-semifinal-final knockout (with consolation brackets) on Sunday. So they will have six shortened games over the two days.

Pool A:
Pacific Coast, New England Red, Mid-Atlantic, Tri-State

Pool B:
Midwest, Southeast, New England White, Great Lakes

Saturday Schedule (Games to be live streamed here>>)
9:00 AM Great Lakes vs Midwest
10:00 AM New England Red vs Pacific Coast
11:00 AM Midwest vs Southeast
11:00 AM Great Lakes vs New England White
12:00 PM New England Red vs Tri-State
12:00 PM Mid-Atlantic vs Pacific Coast
1:30 PM Great Lakes vs Southeast
1:30 PM New England White vs Midwest
2:30 PM New England Red vs Mid-Atlantic
2:30 PM Pacific Coast vs Tri-State
3:30 PM Southeast vs New England White
4:30 PM Tri-State vs Mid-Atlantic