UCLA Looks To Take Next Big Step On Their Return To Philadelphia - Collegiate Rugby Championship
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In 2017 for a good while it looked like coach Scott Stewart’s total rebuild of UCLA rugby was almost complete. The Sevens from Westwood downed powerful Arizona in a tight Saturday afternoon match 17-12 to move on again to the CRC quarterfinals. They had reached the semifinals in both 2013 and 2014 and as the sun rose Sunday morning it looked like all might be going the UCLA way. Alas, it was not to be, as a loss to Indiana sent the Bruins home without the Pete Dawkins trophy.

UCLA brings a balance of veteran talent and some fresh young faces to Philadelphia, looking and many feel the Bruins will be one of the schools to beat in what will be the deepest CRC to date. The reason for the optimism is the return one more time of the Barry brothers, All American senior Niall and fast rising star Cian. Both have again excelled at both sevens and 15’s for head coach Scott Stewart, while freshman Patrick Regan, a FloRugby College Freshman of the Week earlier in the campaign, leads a deep and diverse group of underclassman.

As far as tradition goes, few schools in the country have had a rugby history like UCLA’s. Since 1934, the sport has excelled in Los Angeles, most recently winning the El Nino 7’s in 2015, UCLA 7’s 2016 and the West Coast 7’s title at San Luis Obispo in 2013 & 2014 downing California in the Championship.

There is no doubt UCLA is near the top of the collegiate rugby world in 2018. Can the climb the mountain before them in Philly in June? Don’t be surprised.

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