Varsity Cup primer: Elite college rugby tournament starts Saturday with BYU in Los Angeles

Varsity_Cup_FinalThe opening rounds of the Varsity Cup are set to kick off this weekend.

The Cup, which is in its first year, is a breakaway postseason tournament of eight top programs from the top division of college rugby. 31 of the last 33 National Collegiate Championships having been won by one of the Varsity Cup teams.

“It doesn’t get any better than single-elimination national championship rugby,” said Cal head coach Jack Clark.

Here is the schedule:

Saturday’s quarterfinals
At Annapolis, Md.
Cal (seeded 2nd, ranked No. 1) vs. Notre Dame (7th, No. 16), 11:30 a.m.
Dartmouth (3rd, No. 21) vs. Navy (6th, No. 11), 1:30 p.m.
(The Annapolis games can be viewed online with a subscription at
At Los Angeles
Central Washington (4th, No. 7) vs. Air Force (5th, No. 18), 3 p.m.
BYU (4th, No. 1) vs. UCLA (6th, No. 8), 5 p.m.
(The L.A. games can be watched on the Varsity Cup YouTube Channel)

Semifinals, April 27
At higher-seeds home sites

Championship, May 4
South Field Stadium, Provo
( will stream this game live)

The seeds were determined before the season began. Central Washington replaces Utah’s rugby team, which has been suspended for multiple violations.

Despite being the top seed, BYU head coach David Smyth knows his club has its work cut out for it: “We’re very much looking forward to heading back to Los Angeles. The Bruins are a very different team from when we played them earlier this year. Our goal is no different from any of the other seven teams in the Varsity Cup, but having a chance at winning a National Championship only comes if we get past UCLA and that’s not going to be an easy task this time around.”

Also this week, it was announced that Texas will join Varsity Cup in 2014 and 2015.


  1. TomC

    FYI, the Varsity Cup is not a “National Championship” by any stretch of the imagination. Be a journalist and report the truth.

    • Aaron Morton

      I called the Varsity Cup a breakaway postseason tournament. The coaches of the teams are quotes as calling it a “national championship.” I’m reporting what they said. With the caliber of teams in the Varsity Cup, that’s not a far-fetched opinion.