Rugby Standout Plays with Small-College All-Stars

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Rugby Standout Plays with Small-College All-Stars

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Posted on August 29, 2016

Cal U student Erica Long stands inside Talen Energy Stadium.

Note: Corrections to this article were posted on Aug. 30, 2016

Junior Erica Long returns to the Cal U Women’s Rugby Club this season with a new line on her resume: participation in one of the largest women’s rugby competitions in the United States.

Long, a criminology major, was selected for the National Small College Rugby Organization’s National 7s team after Cal U’s spring season.

The NSCRO Women’s 7s Select Side is a new program created in partnership with Penn Mutual. While allowing players from smaller schools to compete together at the highest level, the program increases the visibility of talented players and provides them with another pathway to national competition.

In June, Long played for the NSCRO Select Sides team, which took part in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships at Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pa.

Although she first played rugby last September, Long helped the 16th seeded NSCRO All-Stars finish in fifth place.

She scored three tries in a 39-5 victory over Rutgers University and two tries in a 24-5 win over Delaware.

NSCRO also defeated Ohio State and the University of Michigan while winning four of six matches overall.

“It was by far the best experience of my life,” said Long, who credited Cal U coach Brittany Marnell and NSCRO coaches Jeff Noe and Bryn Chivers for preparing her for top-level competition.

“When I started playing, never in a million years did I think it would lead me to participating in the largest collegiate rugby competition in the United States. I plan to share all that I learned with my teammates at Cal U when our new season comes around this fall.”

Cal U has 26 teams in its 23 sports clubs, and these groups continue to achieve national and regional success. Cal U’s three hockey teams, men’s and women’s archery teams, men’s lacrosse and baseball teams have all done especially well.

“Our sports clubs are coming full circle and Erica’s success this summer certainly adds to that,” said Jamison Roth, Cal U’s director of sports clubs.

“Many of our students simply cannot compete in NCAA athletics. However, by participating in sports clubs, they still able to compete, and many of them are earning recognition for themselves and the University.”