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D1A Rugby

D1A college rugby is the highest level of play in the United States. Governed by USA Rugby, they have divided the division into 6 conferences with 40 teams total.


Red River, Big Ten Rugby, California, East, Mid-South, West

Out of these six, California, East, and Mid-South are very dominant on the field. With teams like St. Mary’s, Army, and Life respectively.

Teams have to play a full regular season before USA Rugby declares the top 12 to play in post-season rugby. Playoffs then commence with 3 rounds of single elimination. Just recently, in the 2015 USA Rugby Collegiate National Championship, St. Mary’s took 1st place overall.

There have actually been 4 different champions in the past 4 years since the division’s birth. With California winning in 2011, BYU in 2012, Life in 2013, and St. Mary’s in 2014.

D1A  Rugby is the best of the best in the United States outside of men’s leagues and the Olympics. However, a large majority of these players end up playing for their country or their hometowns.

These athletes often find themselves with opportunities to play at an Olympic level while still attending school. For example, exemplary players who are dignified as All-American can be chosen to play for the USA U-20 Rugby Union Team. The last big win for this national team was the 2012 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy.

Here are the top 20 Canterbury teams 2015:

1) Saint Mary’s (1)
2) Life (2)
3) Lindenwood (3)
4) Army (5)
5) Davenport (4)
6) Utah (7)
7) Kutztown (6)
8) Penn State (8)
9) Indiana (10)
10) Wheeling Jesuit (9)
11) Cal Poly (12)
12) Air Force (11)
13) Wisconsin (15)
14) Arizona (13)
15) San Diego State (16)
16) Colorado (18)
17) Ohio State (19)
18) Colorado State (14)
19) LSU (20)
20) Iona (NR)
*number in parenthesis is the preseason rank