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St. Bonaventure University is once again stepping up in class in men’s rugby.
Just five years removed from going to Division I after years of dominance in Division II, the Bonnies next fall will play in Rugby East, a Division I-A conference regarded as one of the best in the nation.
The conference features defending American Collegiate Rugby champion Kutztown University, perennial national contender Penn State, Wheeling Jesuit University, Army and Iona College, which also joined Rugby East for this coming fall.
The Bonnies will compete for the American Collegiate Rugby Championship (ACRC) in the fall, while focusing on seven-man competition (called sevens) during the spring semester.
“This is an exciting and timely step for our program, a reward for all of our players, alumni and coaches. While we value the rivalries we built in the Empire Rugby Conference, we look forward to the challenge Rugby East will present us,” said Clarence Picard, ’05, head coach.
“As we aim to provide our students with the most rewarding experience possible, we are eager to face the Northeast’s top collegiate programs on a regular basis. Coupled with the ongoing turf field project, this is an exciting time for St. Bonaventure rugby,” he said.
The Bonnies will also add a few non-league matches with traditional Western New York rivals to fill out their fall schedule.
“We are very grateful and excited about this new opportunity. The move into a league like Rugby East will benefit the long-term success of the club and help garner our team national recognition,” said A.J. Vitanza, ’15, club president.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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