NCR 2020-2021 – Questions and Answers

How will things be different under NCR?

NCR is committed to its small college heritage and will continue to run our existing small college championship pathways.  Beginning in 2020, we will also add open divisions which will provide pathways for former men’s DIA, DIAA and DII and women’s DI and DII teams – from both small and large schools.

In addition, NCR has established an independent operating model and will now offer our members full insurance, a registration platform, and a competition management system.


How will the Fall season be affected by COVID-19?

Here is the latest NCR update.


Will players need to register with USA Rugby?

NCR will not mandate USA Rugby membership for our players. We understand that many of our  members are big fans of our national teams, and we are working with USA Rugby to provide optional membership and donation programs to support the national teams.


What insurance will be offered?

Details about insurance coverage for the 2020-21 season can be found on the insurance overview.


Why become a member with NCR this Fall?

NCR is here to serve its members as a professional membership organization. We’ve added some great new features for this Fall in addition to our many existing member benefits.  The Founders Discount offers a reduced membership rate for the 2020-2021 season.

As a member of NCR you have access to an exciting list of member benefits:

  • Contactless Fall Competitive season (new)
  • Administrator Toolbox with training on how to retain players during Covid and more (new)
  • Online Coaching Development partnership with MLR and NCR Coach collaboration (new)
  • Participant Accident and General Liability Insurance Coverage (new)
  • Collegiate Rugby Community engagement and interaction


When should I register?

Club, Coaches and Players need to be registered before they participate in training and matches.  If you want to participate in NCR activities you will need to be registered. If you register before September 30, 2020 your club membership fees are discounted by $400.  This discount is already applied to the Plan 2 Club registration option in the NCR Registration System.



What are the fees?

2020-21 NCR Membership Fees

(includes insurance and processing fees)

Plan 1 Plan 2
Club Fee $160 $1,300 
Player Fee $65 $20


What do the plans mean and how do they work?

The two plans are designed to accommodate teams who may receive direct funding from their schools and those who do not.  Also, teams who receive direct funding often find that while their school may pay for team/club dues they will not subsidize individual player dues.  

Plan 1

Designed for teams where the school will pay the team dues and the individual members pay the player dues.

Plan 2

Designed for teams who receive little support from the school and have to raise funds for all expenses.  This allows for teams to register and play for a minimal initial outlay.


How will the open division work?

The open divisions will be developed in partnership with our new conferences to ensure that each team participates in an appropriate competition structure. Depending on the type and number of teams that join NCR, there may be multiple championship pathways within the men’s and women’s open divisions.  For more information, please contact Brad Dufek (men) or Angela Smarto (women).

NSCRO Rebrands to National Collegiate Rugby

NSCRO Rebrands to National Collegiate Rugby

College rugby has a long and storied history. Over the last 40 years, the game has evolved into a competitive sport on college campuses played by thousands of young men and women across the country. Since 2007, NSCRO has accelerated the on and off-field growth and development of 350 small college rugby teams, student-athletes and coaches.

Today, we are announcing the next evolution of college rugby.

We are excited to introduce National Collegiate Rugby (NCR), a new brand that will encompass a broad constituency of collegiate programs. The brand will be guided by the values inherent in rugby – teamwork, respect, and sportsmanship. Through the passion of our staff and the rugby community, NCR will continue to grow the game and create an unforgettable student-athlete experience.

We will continue to provide the same exceptional services to our small college teams as we welcome both new small and larger schools to the NCR family. The organization will expand to include additional services, including registration, insurance, a competition management system and much more. We are proud to have the continued long-term support of our top sponsor, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, as we work together to create a brighter future for collegiate rugby.

Under the NCR umbrella, the organization remains committed to positively impacting the lives of young adults and growing collegiate rugby.

We look forward to seeing everyone back on the pitch this fall.

Men’s Small College All-Americans and Rising Stars Named

We are pleased to release our selections of 25 student-athletes named as Small College Men’s All-Americans and 25 Rising Stars for the 2019-20 season.

National Collegiate Rugby has over 6,500 active men’s collegiate players. Players were primarily considered based on club nominations submitted to NCR and reports from NCR scouts at our Fall playoffs.

This year’s All-Americans include seven 2019 All-Americans along with five 2019 Rising Stars rising to full All-American status plus thirteen new selections. The Rising Stars saw four players from 2019 receiving this honor again plus 21 new selections.

Small College All-Americans recipients have been determined by our selection committee to be the preeminent collegiate players within our organization. These 25 All Americans have demonstrated their skills, commitment and physical dominance that have made them stand out among their peers.

Each All-American selected player will be sent a All-American t-shirt and a gold medal in recognition of this honor, while the Rising Stars will be sent a Rising Star t-shirt and a silver medal.

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Small College All Americans class:

2019-20 Small College All-Americans
Name School
Abraham Asante Claremont Colleges
Justin Delcher Loyola University Maryland
Vince Duhig Christendom College
Ceasar Escajeda Angelo State University
PJ Ernst Franciscan University
Mathew Gash-Glider Endicott College
Anthony Giacchi Salve Regina University
Danny Giannascoli Loyola University Maryland
Matthew Grundlingh Claremont Colleges
Harry Holte Salve Regina University
Marcus Josiger University Wisconsin Stevens Point
Josh Leatherby Franciscan University
Connor Lehner Claremont Colleges
Patrick Newton Christendom College
Mike Nita Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Dominic Odden St. John’s University
Connor Pederson Claremont Colleges
David Prezzia Franciscan University
Chance Sears Claremont Colleges
Blades Shields Plymouth State University
Nick Sommer Williams College
Riley Stone Susquehanna University
Trevor Ulicni Oregon Institute of Technology
Sean Vickery Xavier University
Jeff Wood Alfred University
2019-20 Small College Rising Stars
Name School
Will Arnold Christendom College
Thomas Audino Christendom College
Zack Barnes Franciscan University
Declan Boldy Xavier University
James Comerford Salve Regina University
Danny Connors Spring Hill College
Ryleigh Cornelius Elon University
Alex Cortessis CSU Maritime Academy
Nick Cuddeback Christendom College
Keegan Echevarria Western Oregon University
Dylan Ferguson Elon University
John Gblah Sonoma State University
Connor Gorman Loyola University Maryland
Jacob Jenkins CSU Maritime Academy
Owen Kennedy Christendom College
Anthony McGrath Loyola University Maryland
Nick Mills University of Maine Orono
Zachary Nadeau Endicott College
Joshua Napora University of Nebraska Omaha
Sean Nolan MiraCosta College
Tate Phillipson Abilene Christian University
Jeremy Seow Claremont Colleges
Elijah Tafao-Braganza University of New Orleans
Vaughn Williams University of Denver
Jonah Wolfe CSU Maritime Academy

Brad Dufek to Lead the New Men’s Open Division

Following the commitment of ten D2 conferences, National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) is proud to announce a new Men’s Open Division that will introduce a new men’s Open National Championship pathway starting in the Fall of 2020. Brad Dufek has been appointed as the Men’s Open Division Commissioner.

Many of these conferences are already participating in NCR’s small college competition with just the Gateway and Great Midwest Conferences joining for the first time as well as the newly formed Allegheny Rugby Union’s DII league. With 75 men’s Open Division teams from across the country, the Open Division conferences joining NCR at this time are:

  • Allegheny Rugby Union
  • Cardinals Collegiate Rugby Conference
  • Deep South Collegiate Rugby Conference
  • Gateway Collegiate Rugby Conference
  • Great Lakes Collegiate Rugby Conference
  • Great Midwest Collegiate Rugby Conference
  • Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference
  • Midwest College Rugby Conference
  • Northern Lights Conference
  • Southern Rugby Conference

Dufek, a USA L300 coach just completed his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Quinnipiac women’s rugby team in 2019/20, after helping the Bobcats earn NCAA national titles in his first three seasons with the program. In addition to his time at QU, he assists with the Yale University Men’s program, the New Haven RFC Men’s senior side, and coaches with the Rebel Rugby Academy High School Boys program.

Brad stated that “I feel incredibly fortunate to lead NCR’s newly formed men’s division. NCR truly has the best interest of the collegiate rugby student athlete at the top of their priority list and I will only look to help maintain and improve that experience.”

Dufek will work with the Open Division commissioners to establish a competitions committee which will guide the new structure as well as planning the playoffs leading to a national championship scheduled for December 5-6. The new division will largely consist of current Division 2 teams—from both large and small schools— as well as teams from the current small college division. NCR’s Small College Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions will not be affected.

NCR CEO, Steve Cohen commented: “The Open Division is a natural evolution for our organization. We are excited to welcome these prestigious rugby conferences and pleased to have someone of Brad’s caliber leading the competition. We will continue to provide the same level of services to our small colleges while increasing our overall scale benefits, championship pathways, and access to venues.”

The introduction of the Open Division is one part of NCR’s expanded strategic plan. NCR recently announced that it has confirmed general liability and personal accident insurance coverage for its members. The organization will also introduce a new registration and competition management platform, and expand it’s staffing model prior to the 2020 season.

MARC D2 Teams Join NCR

The Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference (MARC) is pleased to announce their commitment to the NCR Open Division D2 Competition beginning Fall 2020. The MARC Conference was created in 2012 to operate as a regional collegiate competitive organization for D1AA, D2 and Small College.

MARC administers over 50 College and University rugby programs, and 2,000 student athletes, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The MARC mission is to administer and promote competitive rugby, player and coach development, player safety, and community service.

When asked about the MARC commitment to NCR, Commissioner John Gulden commented “We are excited about the opportunities provided by NCR for our D2 men’s teams, we look forward to the continued relationship first established with our small colleges. We are confident in our decision because NCR is dedicated to growing college rugby.”

The MARC currently has 10 D2 team’s men’s teams spread across Pennsylvania and New Jersey

  • Bloomsburg University
  • Drexel University
  • East Stroudsburg University
  • Lehigh University
  • Moravian College
  • University of Scranton
  • Shippensburg University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Villanova University
  • York College

Upstate New York Collegiate Rugby Conference commits to NCR

The Upstate New York Collegiate Rugby Conference has announced it will join National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) beginning with the 2020-21 season.

The Upstate NY conference, founded in 2014, is made up of women’s teams from 29 colleges and universities. Teams previously competed at two levels in fall 15s: a hybrid division, made up of Division 2 (USA Rugby) and Small College (NSCRO) teams; and an exclusively NSCRO division. Colgate University was NSCRO national runner-up in 2016.

The conference also hosts a spring NSCRO 7s championship. In 2017 Colgate won the NSCRO national championship, and University of Rochester was the national runner-up in 2019.

NCR has announced that it will be divided into Open and Small College divisions. The Open division will be composed of teams previously in Division 1 and Division 2, and Small College-eligible teams seeking a higher level of competition. Small College division eligibility is based on enrollment of fewer than 3500 female students.

“While many decisions still need to be made in light of both the evolving college rugby landscape, and ongoing pandemic, we are confident that NCR will provide value to all of our schools regardless of size and competition level,” said conference president Clarence Picard. “NSCRO has led the way in supporting women’s rugby through championship and all-star events, and we’re happy that our larger schools will now share in these opportunities.”

The Upstate NY conference is currently in the process of scheduling for the fall 15s season, and plans to add a spring 7s series in 2021. The conference has also competed at the NSCRO Women’s All Star 7s Championship the past three years. The Snow Leopards won bronze medals in 2018 and 2019.

This fall the conference welcomes the return of SUNY at Buffalo after a two-year hiatus. Additionally, D’Youville College joins as a brand-new program, and Cornell University joins from the Ivy League. The conference members are:

Alfred University, Canisius College, Clarkson University, Colgate University, Cornell University, D’Youville College, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, LeMoyne College, Niagara University, Paul Smith’s College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. Bonaventure University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Brockport, SUNY at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Potsdam, Syracuse University, Union College, University of Rochester, William Smith College

Deep South CRC D2 Teams Select NCR as Their Home

The Deep South Collegiate Rugby Conference is pleased to announce their commitment to joining National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) for the Fall 2020 as a hybrid of Small School Division and Open Division competition.

The Deep South Conference has been a hybrid conference with NSCRO for the past few years, which has benefited both our teams in the D2 and Small College divisions. Our clubs have performed well in their split postseasons, and we are looking forward to continuing that in the 2020 competition fully in the NCR organization.

Conference Commissioner Matt Austin added that “Our teams look forward to the NCR focus on developing rugby at the collegiate level. Our players are excited about the select side opportunities and playoff pathway. Our administrators anticipate a great continued relationship with NCR as the organization grows.”

The Conference currently has 7 men’s teams in Louisiana and Alabama. The teams, in alphabetical order:

Louisiana Tech University – Ruston, Louisiana
Southeastern University of Louisiana – Hammond, Louisiana
Spring Hill College – Mobile, Alabama
Troy University – Troy, Alabama
Tulane University- New Orleans, Louisiana
University of Louisiana at Lafayette – Lafayette, Louisiana
University of New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana

Photo shows Spring Hill College, 2019 DSCRC Champion after winning the NSCRO South Cup

Northern Lights D2 Men and Women Join NCR

The Northern Lights Conference is pleased to announce their commitment to joining the new National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) Open Division for its men’s and women’s D2 clubs beginning in Fall 2020. The Northern Lights Conference was formed in 2012 as the collegiate arm of the Minnesota Rugby Union. It includes 31 men’s and women’s teams competing at both the Small College and Division 2 levels.

This decision was overwhelmingly supported by a vote of collegiate membership after a task force, appointed by the Minnesota Union, engaged and interviewed multiple organizations in order to present side-by-side comparisons of their offerings at a collegiate meeting earlier this week.

“Our task force was committed to doing our due diligence and presenting all options to our teams as objectively as possible. In the end, NCR stood out as the organization with the most comprehensive plan that would allow our teams to play on a competitive national pathway without significant disruption in our seasonality or hybrid format” said Greg White, Men’s Commissioner. “The move to NCR is the best fit for all of our teams at this time”, Women’s Commissioner Rachel Hill adds, “We are excited where this move will take us.”

The Northern Lights membership includes:

Men’s Division 2 Women’s Division 2

Minnesota State University Mankato Minnesota State University Mankato

Minnesota State University Moorhead University of Minnesota Duluth

North Dakota State University North Dakota State University

South Dakota State University St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota Winona State University

Winona State University

Men’s Small College Division Women’s Small College Division

Bemidji State University Bemidji State University

Carleton College Carleton College

Gustavus Adolphus College Gustavus Adolphus College

Macalester College Macalester College

St. John’s University College of Saint Benedict

St. Olaf College St. Olaf College

College of St. Scholastica College of St. Scholastica

University of St. Thomas Minnesota State University Moorhead

Southwest State University (Dev)

University of Minnesota Morris (Dev)

Southern Rugby Conference D2 Teams Join NCR

The Southern Rugby Conference is pleased to announce their commitment to the National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) Open Division D2 Competition beginning Fall 2020. The SRC was created and Founded in January, 2011 in accordance with USA Rugby’s College restructuring initiative. Member teams have captured state, regional, and national championships. Two teams – Furman and Coastal Carolina – have collected a combined four small college national championships. At the AGM the vote was overwhelming in favor of the conference making the move.

“We look forward to our D2 teams joining our current NCR teams in competing in what has proven over the years to be a very successfully run organization. The NCR’s commitment over the years to promoting the college game, as well as their new focus on bringing in D2 conferences were the determining factors in our decision. We know that this is a trying time for rugby as many conferences and teams are looking for a new home with the difficulties that USA Rugby has been having. NCR has decided to take on hosting competitions for Division 2 teams this coming up fall, and as a conference we understand this is no small undertaking. We are excited to help them in any way we can, and look forward to what should be a great partnership going forward.”

When asked about the Southern CRC commitment to NCR, Tommy Duffy Conference Commissioner commented, “The SRC is excited to embark and be part of this newly formed pathway for Collegiate Rugby.”

The current Division 2 teams include:
Appalachian State University
The Citadel
East Carolina University
Furman University
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina Charlotte
University of North Carolina Wilmington

The current Small College teams include:
Campbell University
Coastal Carolina University
College of Charleston
Elon University
Lander University
University of North Carolina Greensboro
Wake Forest University

Tommy explained “The tradition of the Southern Rugby Conference has been about college rugby and advancing this great game. It’s also about putting out high quality collegiate rugby competition. The SRC teams have been represented year in and year out in the national conversation as we put forth some of the nation’s best Division 2 & Small College teams. We are so happy for this great partnership.”

Photo shown is the UNC Wilmington RFC.

New Allegheny Rugby Union Men’s League Joins NCR

The Allegheny Rugby Union is pleased to announce their commitment to the National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) Open Division (D2) Competition beginning in Fall 2020. The ARU Men’s Conference was created in April 2020 from teams moving from other conferences wanting to participate in this completion. We are also excited to align with our existing women’s conference that has had a great experience with NSCRO.

When asked about the Allegheny’s commitment to NCR, Commissioner Seth Erwin commented “Discussions for this new division started back in late fall. Trying to find the right fit for our teams, NCR was a clear choice. They have been very successful over many years in providing high quality competition, as well as a very well-run organization. With NCR focusing on promoting the D2 Division, it was clear that we needed to make a move and land within the NCR umbrella. With growth as a priority for the ARU, we look forward in growing our division alongside the leadership of NCR.“

The Allegheny RU currently has 5 D2 men’s teams spread across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

  • Alderson Broaddus University, WV
  • Indiana University of PA, PA
  • Kent State University, OH
  • West Virginia University, WV
  • Wheeling University, WV

Seth explained “Adding these successful organizations will give us the platform to grow! We want to provide the best rugby possible in our region. This is a great starting point. The division will be competitive top down. “