CRAA – The College Rugby Association of America (CRAA) is set to host its 2023 Championship Weekend, May 5-7 at Aveva Stadium in Houston, Texas. This year’s event will for the first time combine the XVs and Sevens National Championship events for men and women, bringing a full festival experience to one of the best rugby venues in the country. All streaming LIVE on The Rugby Network.
Headlined by the Men’s D1A National Championship, the weekend will also feature the D1 and D2 Women’s Spring 15s championships, D1AA Bowl championships between the California Conference and the Florida Collegiate Conference, and an additional D1A Bowl Championship.
This will also be the inaugural year for the CRAA Sevens National Championship in tandem with the XVs marquee, to build a festival-like experience for all student-athletes and fans. After evaluation and discussion with CRAA conference commissioners and stakeholders, inviting the top 16 Men’s and Women’s Sevens programs to face off over two days and in partnership with the XVs championship was determined for 2023. All high-performance collegiate rugby, all weekend, all in one venue.
In an effort to create a world-class experience for fans and student-athletes alike, CRAA has partnered with the Houston SaberCats and Major League Rugby to create an unparalleled digital experience for more than 42 of USA Rugby’s top tier, high performance college programs in attendance.
“Championship weekend this spring is set to be a landmark event as we bring the best in college rugby together in one weekend,” said Paul Keeler, President of CRAA, “We are fortunate to have great partners in the Houston SaberCats, Major League Rugby and The Rugby Network who have come together to make this elevated event possible.”
Aveva Stadium will be the backdrop for all four championship matches on May 6, 2023. Aveva Stadium is a proper rugby union stadium in Houston, Texas, as part of Houston Sports Park and is home to the Houston SaberCats of Major League Rugby (MLR). The facility was opened on April 13, 2019, is the first stadium built specifically for use by Major League Rugby, and the second rugby-specific stadium for professional competition in the United States.
CRAA has partnered with The Rugby Network (TRN) to provide free online streaming of all XVs and Sevens matches with professional broadcast production. TRN provides full 1080p HD streams with replays and highlights of every single MLR match. They also produce weekly rugby shows, documentaries, and latest news from the MLR.
“Our desire to create sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships with key figures in the community is key to affording us the opportunity to deliver this event for our student-athletes,” said Paul Santinelli, Executive Committee Member of CRAA. “We work diligently through the year to nurture relationships and be servant leaders of the game to generate positive experiences for all those involved.”