The Navy men’s rugby team has secured the top seed in the East Region for the 2023 College Rugby Association of America’s (CRAA) Division I-A Elite Playoffs. The playoffs feature 12 teams, divided into two brackets of six teams each.
Thanks to its number one ranking, Navy has earned a first-round bye and will play a home playoff match at the Prusmack Rugby Center on Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m. The team’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be the winner of the first-round match between #4 Army and #5 Davenport, which will take place on April 8 at West Point, N.Y.
Rugby fans can watch all playoff matches for free on the Rugby Network through links provided on NavySports.com. Director of rugby Gavin Hickie expressed his excitement for the upcoming match, saying “It has been a fantastic season for our Midshipmen who have reached new heights in our inaugural varsity season. At the end of the regular season, our reward is the number one seed and a home playoff match.”
Navy’s 15-0 record during the regular season earned them the top seed in their bracket. During the fall season, the team won 11 victories and claimed its first Rugby East conference championship with a 9-0 record in league play. The team’s successful spring season included four more victories, including wins over fourth-ranked California and eighth-ranked Army.
To secure their first national title, the Mids will need to win three games in the playoffs. A victory in their quarterfinal round match would allow Navy to host the semifinal match on April 22 against either #2 Lindenwood, #3 Life, or #6 Texas A&M.
The national championship game is set to be played at Avena Stadium in Houston, Texas on Saturday, May 8. Fans can view the playoff bracket on the official Navy Sports website.
Navy’s success this season is a testament to the team’s dedication and hard work, and fans eagerly anticipate the upcoming playoffs. With the top seed in their bracket and a home playoff match, the Mids are in a strong position to make a run for the national championship.