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USA Rugby National Championship: Here comes Life West!

Life Chiropractic College West is sending two rugby teams to Kansas City, Missouri, for the 2019 USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship. The action starts Saturday, Aug. 10, and both the Gladiators and Gladiatrix will look to bring prestigious trophies back to campus.

The Gladiators will meet rival Belmont Shore in pool play.

The men’s team qualified for the tournament with a win in the Western Open earlier this summer. They will play out of Pool D, which also includes the Dallas Reds, the Old Blue Rugby Club and longtime rival Belmont Shore. The Gladiators will take the field first at 11 am Saturday against Dallas, with games against Old Blue and Belmont Shore at 1:40 pm and 4:40 pm, respectively. The 7s teams from Life West and Belmont Shore have met multiple times this season, most notably in the Western Open final, when the Gladiators earned a 29-5 victory thanks to a tremendous defensive performance.

Meanwhile, the Gladiatrix qualified with a second-place finish in July’s Pacific North Championship. They will play out of Pool D on the women’s side. Their four-team group also features the Chicago Lions, the Boston Women’s Rugby Club and ARPTC Blue. Life West plays Chicago at 11 am, Boston at 2 pm and ARPTC Blue at 4:40 pm. The Gladiatrix will be looking to continue their run of national success, one that has included three straight national titles for the “fifteens” team and the earning of a spot in the Women’s Premier League, in which they’ll play this fall.

The two teams hope to continue what has been a stellar year for Life West rugby to this point. Among other highlights, the Gladiators sent a fifteens team to the national semifinals this past May after winning the Pacific Rugby Premiership title, and the Gladiatrix took top honors at the Santa Barbara “Sevens by the Sea” tournament earlier this summer. Additionally, the men and women both took first place at the Northern California Rugby Football Union tournaments in San Jose as well.

Is another trophy in the cards for the Gladiatrix?

Roundrobin play concludes Saturday night. On Sunday, Aug. 11, the tournament shifts to a double-elimination format. The top two teams from each pool will be eligible for the Cup and Plate tournaments, while the bottom two teams from each group will meet in the Bowl and Shield tournaments. Matches will be played all day, and champions will be crowned that night. For more information on the tournament format, including the complete slate of matches for all 32 men’s and women’s teams, visit the tournament website’s schedule page.

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 and Gladiatrix in person, FloRugby.com will have live streaming video of each matchup.

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