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9

Mar, 2017

Heart of America and Collegiate Rugby Championships Qualifier!

KANSAS CITY, March 9, 2017-  Elite collegiate rugby comes to Kansas City March 25-26 for the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) qualifier division of the Heart of America Classic. 24 teams from 15 states will converge on the College Boulevard Activity Center (CBAC) in an effort to win their way into the CRC, the crown jewel of college rugby. The Kansas City Rugby Football Club and Kansas City Rugby Tournaments and Events will play host to the event as they have since 2015.
 
In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to include 7-on-7 rugby (sevens) in the Games, and in 2010, the CRC was born. When Team USA took the field at the 2016 Rio Olympics, a quarter of its roster was made up of CRC alums, including two-time Super Bowl winning safety for the New England Patriots, Nate Ebner, who played in the CRC with Ohio State.
 
The CRC is held each June at Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia and aired live on NBC Sports Network and NBC, making it the most visible collegiate rugby competition in the country. For most of the CRC's eight-year history, there has only been one open qualifier through which any team could win its way into the big dance - the Las Vegas Invitational. This year, the Heart of America has been added as a second. So for the more than 300 student-athletes who will lace up in the CRC division, Olympic aspirations and the dream of playing on national television have led to Kansas City.
 
The list of teams competing runs the gamut, with local favorites Missouri and Kansas State mixing it up with familiar foes like Oklahoma, Arkansas and Nebraska. Big-name schools from across the country are also represented by the likes of Ohio State, Michigan and Louisville. And there are underdogs traveling long distances in the hopes of fitting into Cinderella's slipper, such as New Hampshire, North Texas and Wyoming. And some smaller, lesser known schools in the traditional collegiate sporting lexicon who specialize in rugby, like American International College (MA), Davenport (MI), and Lindenwood (MO) will also be present.  
 
In addition to the 24-team CRC qualifier division, there will also be a robust high school competition and a secondary collegiate division. In both of those, the more traditional version of rugby and the second most popular team sport in the world, 15-on-15, will be the game of choice.
 
The breadth of the Heart of America Classic will be played out on three fields at the CBAC, with the CRC division on two stadium fields replete with permanent stands, scoreboards and press boxes. Admission to the HOA is $5 per person, per day, and any press interested in covering the event please email [email protected] or call (913) 236-8311.  

About Kansas City Rugby Football Club (KCRFC)
The Kansas City Rugby Football Club is Kansas City's oldest rugby organization celebrating 54 years of tradition.  KCRFC created a subsidiary non-profit organization call Kansas City Rugby Tournaments and Events in 2014 to help bring professional events to Kansas City in and effort to bring awareness and access to the great game that they love. For more info on KCRFC or KC Rugby Tournaments and Events visit www.kcrugby.org and www.kcrugbytourneys.com.  

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