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Stars Rugby Program Touring the World

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Stars Rugby Program Touring the World

Stars Rugby 7s is an elite rugby 7s program that tours internationally in the pursuit of high level rugby 7s competition. The team offers men and women the chance to play at a high level they may normally never experience.

Under program director Liz Entwhistle, the Stars recently competed at the Stampede 7s tournament in Calgary, Alb. with one men's team and two women’s teams playing in the Premier bracket.

The men’s team and the women’s 1st team made the final in very difficult international brackets, this despite having only about three hours of training time together.

“The performances exceeded expectations,” said Entwhistle.

In the end, the Stars finished 2nd in both brackets, losing to a team of experienced Fijian players in the men’s bracket and to a team made up of mostly Canadian capped 7s players in the women’s final.

Stars Rugby 7s draws from across the USA with a focus on balancing rosters with experienced 7s athletes - some with national team experience - with those who play for teams in areas where select side play is tough to get.

“There is a huge emphasis on growing the Stars rugby community and continuing to work with our players over the course of several tournaments a year,” said Entwhistle. “Many in our player pool travel quite far - all at an amateur level paid out-of-pocket - to compete towards 7s national titles. We aim to bring together the skilled athletes newer to the game, those without access to tactical, strategic rugby 7s, and developing college athletes together with these experienced veterans to elevate everyones' play and nurture mentoring relationships. Our emphasis is on rugby community and team camaraderie which builds to winning tournaments.”

Teams that have contributed players to the Stars roster include: San Diego Surfers, Berkeley All Blues, San Jose Seahawks, Sacramento Amazons, Milwaukee Barbarians, 1823, Las Vegas Rugby, Fort Drum, Army, Air Force, Bow River (Canada), the Atlanta Harlequins, Twin Cities Amazons, Youngbloodz 7s, Florida Atlantic University, Fort Miami, Tampa Krewe, Florida BURN, Team Sparkle, Georgia Tech, Life University, Florida International University, South Buffalo Sinners, Old Blue, NYAC, the Northeast Olympic Developmental Academy, Redlands (Australia), University of Victoria (Canada), and University of Alberta (Canada).

The next step for Stars Rugby 7s will be the Central Coast 7s in Australia in October, with both a men’s and women’s team making the trip.

“Central Coast 7s affords our players the chance to compete against the best rugby players in the world win an atmosphere not too different from an IRB tournament,” said Entwhistle. “The women will be in the same bracket as the Canadian, Fijian, Brazilian, and Australian national teams, as well as several proven teams, including the RuGirl 7s from Japan, the ACT Brumbies from Australia, Tribe 7s, Sunnybank, Wellington, and the Central Coast Academy of Sport.”

The men also see the Brazilian National team and several other notable Pacific sides such as Daveta, Yamacia, Tribe 7s, Sunnybank, the Borneo Eagles, and NZ Four Nations. Tiger Rugby from the USA is also traveling to this tournament.

Beyond Central Coast 7s, the Stars will venture to Tobago 7s in December with two men's and women's sides each, then to the Las Vegas Invitational with as many as four women's teams while partnering with a men's program to provide greater depth in a very competitive men's tournament. Then it’s off to the Samoa Independence International 7s in May, and to Calgary Stampede 7s once again in July 2015.