After two thrilling National Semifinals the two teams that will meet in the Men’s D1A College Rugby National Championship have been determined. BYU and Arkansas State are set to meet in the Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday May 19, 2012. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. MDT and tickets are available online at www.riotintostadium.com.
BYU defeated a very strong Life University (Marietta, Ga.) team 26-20 and Arkansas State took out St. Mary’s (Moraga, Calif.) 31-17 on Saturday May 12 to advance to the National Championship game.
In 2011, BYU fell to Cal 14-21 at Rio Tinto Stadium in front of an electric crowd of over 10,000. With an axe to grind and a National Championship in their sights, the Cougars will throw everything at Arkansas State to bring a title back to Provo.
BYU last won a national title in 2009 when they beat Cal 25-22 in a legendary clash at Steuber Rugby Stadium in Stanford, Calif.
Arkansas State has never won a National Championship at the Division I level and will be charged up for their shot at glory in D1A, the premier men’s college rugby competition in the country.
BYU’s All-American captain and dynamic loose forward, Ryan Roundy, will lead the way for the Cougars on Saturday. Look for Paul Lasike, BYU’s hard-charging center, to be a danger man in the final.
The Red Wolves have some weapons of their own though including elite scorer Paul Benade and standout flyhalf and All-American, Pat Sullivan.
Four other national champions will be crowned at Rio Tinto before ASU and BYU get underway on Saturday. The Emirates Airline USA Rugby Men’s DI-AA and DII College as well as the Boy’s High School and High School Club National Championships will take place in the stadium before the D1A final.
The purchase of a ticket (starting at $17) will grant access to all five games. Tickets can be purchased online (http://www.riotintostadium.com/events/USA-Rugby-Championships.php) or at the gate.
The D1A National Championship will be shown live on ESPN3 and on tape delay on ESPNU and ESPN International. Tape delay broadcast times are to be confirmed.
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