Regional Cup Tournaments end in Illinois, Oregon

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Rugby Oregon and Rugby Illinois will host all-star rugby teams from across the midwest and west coast during USA Rugby's final Regional Cup Tournament weekend June 25-26. The Great Northwest Challenge and Midwest Challenge Cup will host 53 of the almost 150 teams who will take the field throughout five regionally-based championships.

"Rugby Illinois is very excited to be hosting the 2016 Midwest Challenge Cup," said Tournament Director John Baderman.

Rugby Oregon President and Chief Executive Officer Jenn Heinrich echoed his sentiments: "Hosting some of the top talent in rugby with the city of Corvallis and Oregon State University will bring a world-class experience to the thousands of participating athletes and their families."

Last weekend saw 96 teams compete in the Northeast, South, and West Cup Tournaments. Athletes from the competition were scouted and selected by USA Rugby's High School All-American teams, under-20 teams, and colleges, and some are already on their way to camp in Buffalo, N.Y. The USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans will tour in Ontario next month and the Girls High School All-Americans powered by ATAVUS will face Quebec in Maryland and British Columbia in Seattle.

Overall, the Regional Cup Tournaments added 30 teams from 2015. Many tournaments held their first Girls JV and Middle School brackets--key competitions to the growth of the sport as a whole. Both divisions saw a doubling of teams since 2015. The increase in skills across the athlete pool is readily apparent. With the growth of PRO Rugby, the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games, and an increasing connection to post-high school playing opportunities in college and club, more and more kids dream of leading their country on the pitch.

Schedule information for the Midwest Challenge is available on Rugby Illinois Tournament App and website, www.rugbyillinois.us. Great Northwest Challenge information is available at rugbyoregon.com.