Photo courtesy of LBSU Rugby
The number two seeded Long Beach State rugby team advanced to its fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance by defeating the University of San Diego 60-12 earlier this month and capturing the inaugural Gold Coast Championship and its third overall title in a row.
The 49ers will travel to the University of Stanford this weekend where the Western Division I AA bracket is being hosted. Long Beach, which will face the third seeded University of Arizona at 3PM in a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 where 49ers upset the Wildcats victory, finished the season 13-1 and outscored their opponents 526-116. The women’s team will also compete, facing off against Western Washington University, the same school that eliminated the men’s squad from the playoffs last year.
The winner of the bracket advances to play for the National USA Rugby Collegiate Title where they will square off against winners of other regional playoffs in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Ohio. If the 49ers advance, they’ll return to Stanford for the Final Four match-ups slated for May 10-11 at Steuber Rugby Stadium.
“The consistent and high level of success which the Long Beach State Rugby program has attained over the past 40 years is rooted in its rugby culture,” said head coach and LBSU alumni Jason Reynolds in a press release. “Whereas other clubs may focus on the more social aspects of rugby, Long Beach players and coaches maintain a strong respect for the game.”
LBSU's rugby team is celebrating its 40th year, during which it has acheived 15 League Championships, three Final Four appearances, one National Championship Appearance and 20 tournament championships. 13 All-American rugby selections have come from LBSU and so has one Woodley Award winner, which is Rugby’s Heisman equivalent.