(Eagan, Minn – Feb. 16, 2023) Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s), North America’s top-tier women’s and men’s rugby sevens competition, today announced the Northern Loonies will host the 2023 Western Conference Kickoff tournament in Minnesota this summer. The festival-style event will take place at TCO Stadium at Viking Lakes in Eagan on Saturday, June 24. The Loonies will be Minnesota’s home team for PR7s and host open tryouts in search of local talent on Sunday, March 26 in the URW Sports Field Complex at the University of Minnesota.
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As a league, PR7s doubled in size this year with an elevated competition format. The Northern Loonies are one of eight franchises featuring men’s and women’s teams and will play in the league’s Western Conference. The top two teams from each conference will qualify for the 2023 Championship tournament.
As the first league of its kind with men’s and women’s teams competing under one umbrella with equal pay, each PR7s event will boast a party-like atmosphere with bands, DJs, games, contests, partner integration, and special appearances. Tickets for each event are available at PRSevens.com/tickets.
PR7s tournaments will include a series of eight 14-minute games, rotating between the men’s and women’s competitions on the same day. Each event will crown a men’s and women’s winner. The season-long competition will build towards the 2023 Championship Tournament, where one franchise will take home the 2023 PR7s United Championship – an unprecedented prize that combines the men’s and women’s results. Additionally, the last men’s team standing will take home the A. Jon Prusmack Cup, and the women’s prize is the Kathy Flores Cup, honoring two major pioneers in American rugby.
At the player tryouts, dubbed the PR7s Open Trials, Loonies coaches and league staff will evaluate male and female athletes to compete to make a roster alongside Olympians and national team players. The local franchises will have the right of first refusal to draft these players in the 2023 PR7s Draft. The professional league offers pathways for players to have opportunities to also play internationally.
The following is the PR7s conference breakdown:
New York Locals
SoCal Loggerheads (licensed by Rhinos Rugby)
Rocky Mountain Experts
Golden State Retrievers