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University of Washington Goes Independent

College Men

University of Washington Goes Independent

Locke Bradley photo.

The University of Washington Huskies will be playing an independent schedule for the coming 2017-18 season.

Director of Rugby Mike Alfstad said the decision has been under consideration for some years now, and it wasn't to do with dissatisfaction with the NCRC conference.

The NCRC, said Alfstad, "is a very good league and one which we have been proud to be its champion at times over the years. We have been open with the league about it and for a number of positive reasons this was the year to go independent."

UW's partnership with Atavus is a factor. 

"Over the last five years we have enjoyed a tremendous partnership with ATAVUS and from that we have worked to create a direction toward a style of play that suits our athletes very well," said Alfstad. "It is a style that is distinctly more open, more structured and oriented toward what we believe is the future of the game. In going independent we can now seek out home and away series with teams that best suit our direction and development up and down the coast and also into Canada."

University of Washington is a member of the PAC 12, and while UW rugby probably isn't in a position to compete in the PAC Rugby Conference at present, they likely will be looking for more Pac 12 opponents. The UW program has informed USA Rugby of the decision and the Huskies are going to make sure their schedule is strong enough to keep them in consideration for an at-large invitation to DIAA playoffs.