Life West men’s rugby is in the midst of its “7s” season, and the Gladiators recently punched tickets to the 2019 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship. Life West was one of the first teams to qualify for the event, which will be held Aug. 10-11 in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Gladiators earned a spot in the prestigious tournament with a 29-5 win over Belmont Shore in the final of the Western Open, which was held June 29 in the Bay Area. Belmont Shore advanced to the national finals in 2018 but could only manage a single try against the stifling Life West defense.
“Obviously, it was the two best teams of the tournament in the final,” Life West coach Adriaan Ferris said in an interview with USA Rugby after the game. “Life West was very keen to reverse the result of last year’s final, and we ended up doing that pretty convincingly in the end.”
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Dev Ferris, who will make his coaching debut at the helm of the Life West Gladiatrix in the Women’s Premier League this fall, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Additionally, Tim Stanfill turned heads in an early-round game against San Jose, where he scored five tries in a 50-5 triumph.
The run of the 7s squad comes after one of the most notable seasons in the history of Life West’s “fifteens” team. A year after winning just three games, the Gladiators captured the 2019 Pacific Rugby Premiership championship with a 36-27 victory over Belmont Shore. They finished the 2019 campaign with an impressive 9-3 mark and advanced to the USA Rugby Club national semifinals as one of the final four teams in the country left standing.
The USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship will be held at Swope Soccer Village, and it doubles as the 40th anniversary of the first event. Tickets are on sale now. If you’re unable to make it to Kansas City to support your Gladiators in person, FloRugby.com will have live streaming video of each matchup.
More information about the tournament, including possible opponents for Life West, will be available as additional squads qualify.