Dec 07, 2017
The Sacred Heart men's rugby club received official confirmation on December 6 that its application for acceptance into the New England-wide Rugby Conference had been accepted, effective immediately.
Leaving the Tri-State Rugby Conference was not a difficult decision, according to Head Coach Ray Peterson. "Three primary factors led us to explore options. Financially the cost of travel was significantly reduced, as 7 of the 8 Conference teams are located within an hour of Sacred Heart and 5 are in Connecticut. The level of competition from top to bottom is a solid one that our current program will benefit from for years to come. Recruiting will be enhanced, players will be challenged every week and overall the team will be stronger as we move forward. Finally, the New England-wide Conference has one automatic and one 'play in' slot for participation in the National Championship which the other Conference does not. The Nationals are our goal every year and our team now has that opportunity. We went to National last year with our undefeated team and missed this year by 6 points. While the competition in the new Conference will be stronger we know we will be competitive."
The New England-wide Conference is comprised of the Coast Guard Academy, U of Hartford, Springfield College, Quinnipiac, Worcester, Westfield, WestConn and Central Connecticut. Sacred Heart will begin playing Conference games this Spring and will also be playing UConn, Yale and Fairfield.
"We have gained respect as a great program and are trusted by the rugby community for our commitment to the sport. I trust the leadership of the Conference and have strong relationships with many of the Executives and Coaches. This is a true 'win-win' for all. Our team, our incredible parents and the support they give and our growing student fan base will all enjoy the future of Sacred Heart men's rugby" - Head Coach Ray Peterson.