Malvern Prep captured the National High School Rugby Championships (HSRC) at Talen Energy Stadium June 4. During the three-day tournament, Malvern’s Rugby 7’s team went undefeated in a field of 17 to win the High School Boys Open Group.
Teams traveled to the HSRC’s from as far as Salt Lake City, Texas, and Connecticut. The tournament is part of the College Rugby Championships (CRC’s) that draws the top Division 1 college rugby teams nationally each year to Philadelphia.
Malvern’s varsity side also claimed an undefeated season this year in Rugby 15’s that included a victory over a previous Pennsylvania state champion (Conestoga) and a victory against perennial state powerhouse St. Joe’s Prep in the state quarterfinals before falling short in a tight loss in the state semifinal to Cumberland Valley (the No. 1 seed in Pennsylvania).
“Our year was hugely successful,” said Malvern Prep rugby head coach Matt Boccuti. “We had a group of committed players that put in the necessary hard work. This group bonded as a team, were very supportive of each other, and had a lot of fun. The JV side also had an outstanding year, winning all but one of their matches.”
Malvern Prep plays Rugby as a Club Sport of 7’s (seven players per side) in the fall, and then as a varsity sport of 15’s (Fifteen players, traditional game) in the spring.
Boccuti said, “Winning the HSRC’s, going undefeated in our season, and winning into the Pennsylvania state playoffs this year were all big steps for the Malvern rugby program. Malvern now has athletes really focusing on our sport and it shows. We are building a program where we are not only having success on the field, but an increasing number of our guys are planning to continue to play in college. We’re also growing our numbers of younger players and had several underclassmen play big roles for the team this year. The future looks bright.”
For more information on the sport visit Rugby PA (www.rugbypa.org).