BYU Rugby announced that it will join other universities to form an elite post-season competition for 15s rugby. The new competition will be called the Varsity Cup Championship.
BYU joins the Varsity Cup as a founding member along with the University of Utah, the University of California-Berkeley, the United States Air Force Academy, Dartmouth College, the United States Naval Academy and the University of Notre Dame to form the new playoff competition. Other participating universities should be announced at a later date.
“Participation in regular season play is something that is important for Varsity Cup teams,” BYU Head Rugby Coach David Smyth said. “The purpose of the Varsity Cup is to present an additional competition.”
The founding members are regarded as the top college rugby programs in the country. The Varsity Cup teams own 31 of the last 33 National Championships with California boasting 26, Air Force with three and BYU with two championships.
The news of BYU Rugby joining the Varsity Cup is the latest update since they announced they would not participate in the USA Rugby Division I Collegiate Championship. For many BYU Rugby fans, this news was confusing because BYU recently won the collegiate championship. Coach Smyth said this change allows BYU to have more control and to have better competition.
“We view this as the next logical step in the evolution of college rugby in the United States,” Smyth said. “In the end, universities will always want to manage and control their own sports’ playoff structures, with laser focus on what’s best for the college game. Rugby is no different. I fully expect that this championship will grow and evolve into what it must become to deliver a strong and marketable flagship collegiate competition.”