High expectations for rugby

Shawn Henley, Staff Writer

WSC rugby will host the nation’s third largest rugby tournament this Saturday and Sunday at Tompkins Rugby Park in Wayne.

“This is the 16th year of the tournament,” Head Coach Darrin Barner said. “Currently we have 73 teams from the United States and Canada coming here this weekend.”

The tournament will be conducted under pool play format on Saturday. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the playoff rounds on Sunday, with the rest of the teams playing consolation games.

“The 10th anniversary of the tournament had 90 teams from 17 states and Canada,” Barner said. “Last year, there were 92 teams who came to Wayne.”

Some of the marquee rugby schools that will attend include Colorado State University, Manitoba University, Western Illinois, Pittsburg State University, Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“I will know early Thursday afternoon who we play,” Barner said. “The marquee Wayne State games will take place at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday.”

Games will also take place just north of the Rec. Center at the intramural rugby field on Saturday and Sunday. Tompkins Rugby Park is three blocks south of McDonald’s, on East 4th Street.

“Expectations for the women is to win the whole thing,” Barner said. “For the men, we’re going to be challenged by Manitoba University in a real hardnosed game. We’re never afraid of playing big schools. We have big expectations after this past weekend.”

The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday with games until roughly 5 p.m. Admission for the entire weekend is free.