PPL Park is one of the better venues for rugby that you’ll find in the USA; it’s new, sleek, has a great Jumbo-Tron and doesn’t have a bad seat in the house. Plus, you’re minutes from Downtown Philly, which is a crazy sports town.
The big sell for us though, is the level of rugby that this weekend packs in. Current Team USA stars Blaine Scully, Rocco Mauer, and Peter Tiberio burst onto the scene via the College Rugby Championship with Cal, Bowling Green and Arizona, respectively. (RugbyMag.com named Tiberio as its 2011 College 7s Player of the Year). Dartmouth won the championship behind twin brothers Chris & Nick Downer, however, now coach Alex Magelby, is running Team USA’s Sevens squad.
The College Rugby Championship is also where we got to meet and watch Nate Ebner, the Ohio State football star who is now in camp with the New England Patriots. Like USA ruby legend Dan Lyle, Nate’s a “cross-over” athlete who took up rugby after first playing football. And like Lyle, Ebner hits like a truck.
The College Rugby Championship offers something that is uniquely special; the chance to see 2016 Olympic hopefuls making names for themselves in an action-packed, fast-paced two days of end-to-end rugby. Those that stand out, will be in the running to represent the USA in Rio. There is no other venue that gives that opportunity. Period.
Sure, you can watch this on TV – thanks to NBC – but being part of this raucous rugby party in person allows you to take in the crazy outfits, see great bands like Yellowcard, 12 Stones and Breath Carolina and get your Philly fix. You might even rub elbows with some of the rugby stars and legends who will be there because of all of the above.
We know we’ll be there. The cheese-steaks alone are worth the trip.
Please free to comment below and come back tomorrow for England 7s star, Mathew Drew Turner.
Tickets for the two-day event of rugby, live entertainment, gourmet food, interactive games and activities are on sale exclusively through ComcastTIX. One-day and two-day passes, starting at $18, can be purchased online at usasevenscrc.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the PPL Park box office.