Collegiate rugby action heats up this month at Infinity Park where the CU Buffs and the CSU Rams will battle it out for the 2nd Annual Colorado Cup on Friday, October 7th.
Head Coach Jim Snyder says the Buffs ruggers are looking forward to the rivalry match. "There is a trophy that stays in the hand of the winner and unfortunately the Rams just barely edged us out last year on the score line and they hold the Colorado Cup, which we're hoping to get back this year."
Coach Snyder led the Buffs to the semi-finals in 2008 and he sounds confident that his 2011 team is poised to win. "We've brought in some really good young talent with a quality incoming class and we graduated very few players last year — so I think it's going to be a good year for the Buffs."
CSU comes to Infinity Park with a new head coach, Jake Humphrey, and he says that the Rams are ready to shine. "The team really loves playing to the big crowd in that stadium and especially as defending Colorado champs." He goes on. "We're moving in a new direction as far as our attack goes and we want to hold on to that title."
Rugby is rapidly growing in popularity here in Colorado and Jim Snyder says it has expanded in youth programs especially, which are key to community game development. "High school rugby in the area has grown exponentially in the last few years with over 20 registered high school teams and hundreds of high school aged players."
With highly competitive collegiate rugby, progress in youth development and the Glendale Raptors taking the National Championship this year, Colorado is really turning into a rugby hotbed.
Coach Snyder says that this Colorado Cup match up is something that really feeds into the rugby fever here and give fans and young athletes an exciting event to enjoy. "It's a great opportunity for area high school athletes to come out and see a new and developing college sport." He continues. "Rugby is a great option for kids who are thinking about playing a competitive sport in college and the Colorado Cup can give them an idea of what they have in store for them."
Collegiate rugby has really heated up in the U.S. since the rugby sevens game has been included in the 2016 Olympics. Last June the USA 7's Rugby Collegiate Invitational was broadcast on NBC and Universal Sports — marking the first time collegiate rugby has been broadcast on national television.
The rivalry match up between CU and CSU at Infinity Park promises an exciting evening of rugby, and the Buff's Coach Snyder says it might be an indicator for what happens for Colorado in 2011. "On any given year, either one if us are a threat to make some noise nationally. I can't speak for CSU, but I know that the Buffs are poised to have a really good year this year."
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