After competing as an independent team in CRAA D1 during its first varsity season, the Navy women’s rugby team will officially join the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) next fall after being accepted into the league, the NIRA announced Monday.

The NIRA is an association of NCAA member schools sponsoring women’s rugby that serves in two capacities; the competitive home for current NCAA women’s rugby programs and the advocacy and outreach arm of the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women on behalf of women’s rugby. 

“We are excited for this move to NIRA for the program. We have not been part of a conference in some time and we are looking forward to competing against some outstanding academic institutions with equally impressive rugby teams,” said head coach Murph McCarthy.

The NIRA has three separate leagues for Division I, II and III programs. Navy will join the Division I league, which consists of Army, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Long Island, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Princeton.

Annually, the NIRA conducts co-located Divisional Championships the third weekend in November. In 2022, Dartmouth hosted the NIRA Championship in front of a crowd of over 1,200 attendees. The NIRA Championship format is the 15-players-a-side Rugby World Cup playing format.

Fans can learn more about the NIRA by going to its website.

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