CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - The Marine Corps Rugby team is defending their 2012 title at this year’s Inaugural 7’s Rugby Championship in Glendale, Colo., Aug. 12-19.
There were 20 applicants and only 12 Marines a trial camp, held aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., and the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Of the 12, eight of the Marines are from I Marine Expeditionary Force. The team was assessed for skills and compatibility with other players and selected prior to the team departing for Colorado.
“This year, it was much more competitive to get on the team than last year,” said Capt. Justine L. Whipple, Headquarters Marine Corps sports operation officer, “This is the second year that they’ve went from 15s rugby to 7s rugby, which suits the Marines better because of our weight standards. We like 7s because it is a fast, quick game. It’s 15 minutes for each game.” In 7s rugby, there are only seven players on the field and 12 on the roster. The games are much faster and the players, much leaner than 15s rugby.
“Our guys are extremely athletic, high skill level,” Whipple said. “A lot of them have been playing with a bunch of their local teams to improve their skills. This week, we’ll just be practicing. We’ve been doing two to three practices a day. The guys, they’re constantly moving and take their rest time seriously.”
In the 2012 rugby championship, the Marines won for the first time in 20 years over the Air Force who were undefeated the eight years prior. The Marines won the competitive championship 33-31.
The Marine team will compete against the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy this weekend. The winning teams will compete against other international teams attending the Serevi tournament.
The tournament will be webcasted at the link below: http://infinityparkatglendale.com/rugbytown/matchplayer
The schedule of play can be found at the link below: http://infinityparkatglendale.com/index.php/rugbytown/tournaments/serevi/schedule/range.listevents/