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News | June 18, 2018

U.S. Armed Forces Women's Rugby Team Competes at National Development Academy Tournament

By Aalina Tabani - USA Rugby U.S. Armed Forces Sports

USA Rugby will host a seven team Women's Academy Tournament this week at the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Chula Vista, CA. Set to take place June 16-17, six academy teams and the Women's Collegiate All-American Sevens (WCAA 7s) will participate in a round-robin competition to showcase their developed talent for the opportunity to earn 2018-19 residency contracts or to play for an open spot for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 High Performance Camp.

Along with the WCAA 7s, the six additional competing teams include Atavus, Armed Forces, Northeast Olympic Development Academy, Stars Academy, Santa Barbara Rugby Academy and CCIG. Participating athletes will be diverse ranging primarily from ages 18-25 years old, adding a unique dynamic to the competition that challenges players to adapt to diversity in both age and skill level.

The tournament itself not only gives athletes another chance to compete domestically, it also allows National Development Academies to display their ongoing efforts in developing players for international competition. Designed to help players without residency contracts bridge the gap between ameatur play and national team selection, Academy teams will be able to showcase their work in cultivating elite skills during the upcoming competition.

"This tournament is perfectly timed for Women's High Performance. It gives us an opportunity to assess athletes for the 2018-19 season, whilst also providing playing opportunities for contracted athletes that did not travel to France or need more minutes ahead of the World Cup," says Emilie Bydwell, General Manager for Women's High Performance. "We need to continue fostering assemblies for our athletes to compete domestically in the sevens game and our goal is to develop a more consistent framework for this to happen."

At the close of the competition, up to two players will receive an invitation to the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 training camp, offering the chance to compete for a spot on the Women's Eagles Sevens World Cup squad. Participants will also be evaluated for 2018-19 senior residency and Academy contracts.

For more information about National Development Academies click here. To help support emerging players in their journey to join senior national teams, visit or click here.