The Post University women's rugby team will be joining the NCAA and the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) beginning in the Fall of 2020, the first season for the program.
The Eagles will join the NIRA at the D-II level. The D-II programs include Alderson Broaddus, American International College, Molloy, Notre Dame College, Queens University of Charlotte and West Chester University.
"Joining the NIRA shows how committed Post is to rugby," women's rugby head coach Jacob Dilts said. "This will also allow our athletes to compete at the high level of the sport, which is very exciting. There is no doubt that joining NIRA will be tough because there is a lot of good competition in the league. But, I've always been a competitor and I am excited for this opportunity to compete against some of the best teams and coaches out there."
"I think joining NIRA will grow the program because women want the opportunity to compete at the highest level. Six months ago not one girl woke up and said I want to play rugby at Post University because there wasn't a team yet, but I can guarantee six months ago there were girls who woke up wanting to play in the NIRA. Now we can provide an opportunity to those girls to come here and prove why they deserve to compete against some of the best competition in the nation."
Post University Athletic Director Ronnie Palmer echoed the sentiments of Dilts.
"With women's rugby being recognized as an emerging sport with the NCAA and Post University being in the middle of the NIRA footprint, made this an ideal sport to add to our department," Palmer said. "We are excited about developing under the NIRA umbrella and assisting with the vision that commissioner [Amy] Rusert and current NIRA members have to elevate the sport."
PHILIPPI, WV – The Alderson Broaddus women's rugby team will be moving into the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) in Fall 2020. The NIRA is the top governing body of the NCAA's collegiate women's rugby programs.
"We are moving in this direction because we feel it is the highest level of competition that we can move towards with our program, while also having very rigorous academic requirements for our players," said head coach Laura Miller.
The NIRA was originally founded in 2015 as the National Collegiate Varsity Women's Rugby Association. The NCVWRA had eight original members and was limited to NCAA institutions that sponsored varsity women's rugby programs. After a successful inaugural season, the NCVWRA changed their name to the NIRA.
"Since we started here, we have always been a varsity program, but we have competed in the National Small College Rugby Association, which is comprised of primarily club programs. We are moving into a league that is comprised of only NCAA-compliant teams, so the level of competition will skyrocket," said Miller.
Alderson Broaddus will become the 22nd member of the NIRA in Fall 2020. The league features three groups aligned according to NCAA membership.
This season, which will be their last season in the National Small College Rugby Association, The Lady Battlers dominated in their first tournament of the season by defeating the University of Pittsburgh B, Drexel, Stony Brook, and the University of Delaware B.
Article courtesy of govaliants.com
PURCHASE, N.Y. – The Manhattanville College Department of Athletics and Recreation and Director of Athletics, Julene Caulfield are pleased to announce today, Tuesday, March 3, the addition of women's rugby as the Valiants' 23rd varsity sport. Manhattanville has been accepted as a member of the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA).
"We are thrilled to continue to expand the athletic opportunities we offer to female student-athletes," said Caulfield. "Given the success of our current club rugby team and the growth of women's rugby across the nation, we are excited to make the transition to the NCAA Division III level."
Manhattanville joins the NIRA Division III developmental competition group, where the Valiants will compete against teams across all levels. NIRA is the sanctioned governing body for all of NCAA women's rugby and includes teams across Divisions I, II and III. Currently, there are eight Division I programs, five in Division II and seven in Division III. Manhattanville will become the eighth D-III member beginning this fall.
Since its inception as a club sport in 2015, women's rugby has seen a multitude of success. In just the last two seasons, the roster has grown by over 60 percent. Additionally, the Valiants were selected to compete in the 2019 Las Vegas International 7's Tournament.
Beginning in the fall of 2020, the team will make the transition to a NCAA Division III sponsored sport. Rugby is one of three emerging sports for women, which are intended to provide institutions with more opportunities for women in athletics. In order to achieve NCAA championship status, a sport needs to reach a minimum of 40 varsity programs – or show signs of steady progress – within the 10-year period of being declared an emerging sport.
"On behalf of NIRA, we are delighted to welcome Manhattanville women's rugby as our eighth Division III program," said Amy Rusert, NIRA Commissioner. "We look forward to working with Julene Caulfield and her staff in preparation for the Valiants' inaugural 2020 fall season. We are grateful for her vision and leadership in recognizing the value of rugby as an NCAA emerging sport for women."
Manhattanville is actively recruiting student-athletes for the fall 2020 season and applications to the College are currently being accepted. Visit Manhattanville College's admissions page at www.mville.edu/admissions for more information and to apply.
Additionally, with the move to varsity status, the Valiants immediately begin their search for a women's rugby head coach. All interested candidates can visit www.govaliants.com/jobs for more information and to apply.
Any other questions regarding women's rugby can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) Commissioner Amy Rusert announced Guilford College as the league's 20th member Thursday. The Quakers will start competition in the fall of 2020.
NIRA is the top governing body of women's college rugby in the United States and was founded in 2018. Comprised largely of private schools in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, NIRA administers scheduling for league members and sponsors divisional championships each fall.
"NIRA and our entire membership are thrilled to welcome Guilford's women's rugby team as the newest Division III member in 2020," Rusert said. "Guilford and Queens University of Charlotte are catalysts in expanding NIRA's footprint in the Southeast where we anticipate continued growth and expansion."
The league features three groups aligned according to NCAA divisional membership. Guilford becomes the seventh member of NIRA's Division III and first from the South region. The Quakers join Colby-Sawyer College, Bowdoin College, Norwich University, the University of New England, and New England College in NIRA's Division III.
"We are honored by the invitation to join with other institutions committed to excellence in the emerging sport of women's rugby," said Guilford President Jane Fernandes. "Spirited competition with exceptional colleges and universities is part of our effort to deliver the very best experience for Guilford's student-athletes."
"Guilford's NIRA membership demonstrates a commitment to providing a top-flight collegiate rugby experience," Quakers' head coach Emily Record said. "NIRA means legitimacy, a better quality of competition against like-minded institutions, consistent coaching, and access to facilities."
Guilford becomes NIRA's second member from North Carolina, joining Queens, which competes in the league's Division II.
The Quakers will participate in two round-robin tournaments for sevens this spring, including one at Queens April 5. Guilford begins spring practice March 2 and concludes the non-traditional spring season by hosting an April 19 competition.
Women's rugby was added as Guilford's 21st varsity sport in June 2019 and Record was hired the following August. The team started training last fall with practice three times a week and weightlifting twice a week.