Three sets of USA Club Rugby finalists will emerge this weekend. The Midwest is holding its Division I crossover semifinals, and Division II is naming Eastern and Western Conference champions. All Midwest club championships are Nov. 11 in Lemont, Ill. Empire GU is holding DII semifinals, and the final is next Saturday. All games occur at the higher seed. [Lead photo: Katherine Zahn, Metropolis Rugby Club, original album)
The Connecticut/New Jersey/New York league named its DIII champion already. The Union Mudturtles bested Long Island for the repeat title and will head to the springtime Atlantic Super Regional Championships with the Capital, EPRU and New England champs. Remember, the 2024 Atlantic tournament will occur across two weekends instead of one, and will be held in different locations. EPRU will host finals weekend.
Empire DII begins its postseason this Saturday. It took some time to normalize the standings (which differ from the Xplorer stats, as there were forfeits and unplayable games to factor in), but now the semifinals are set. Defending champion New Haven (1) will host Monmouth (4) on Saturday, and New York (3) will travel to Brooklyn (2) for their semifinal. The final is Nov. 11 and will be held at the higher seed.
Division II is divided into Eastern and Western conferences, and they held their respective semifinals last weekend. With that said, the Western games saw a series of forfeits. On Saturday, Grand Rapids travels to Wisconsin to name the Western champ, and the victor will head to the Midwest championship against the Eastern champ on Nov. 11.
The Eastern Conference semifinals went off without a hitch. The top seeds from the Upstate New York and Greater Ohio leagues won their matches, and now Akron is traveling to South Buffalo to contest the conference title on Saturday. Victor meets the Western Conference rep the following Saturday in Lemont, and the overall champion (and potentially the runner-up, if the set-up mimics 2023) will advance to the springtime Northern Super Regional Championship.
The Premiership, or Division I, is also divided into Eastern and Western Conferences, and the top-two seeds from each competition are contesting crossover semifinals on Saturday. Second seeds travel, and Saturday’s winners advance to the DI Midwest Championship in Lemont:
Chicago Lions @ Pittsburgh Forge
Columbus @ Metropolis
There’s no springtime Super Regional for the DI Midwest, and that’s just a function of the number of DI clubs across the country. So the winner of the Midwest championship will advance directly to the national semifinals (unless, of course, the setup changes from the 2022 & 2023 tournaments, and that is always a possibility).