WILDCATS UNVEIL 2017 SCHEDULE
The Wildcats will look to build on last year's success and a strong preseason as they seek a national championship in both Fifteens and Sevens.
Dec 6- Arizona has unveiled their regular season schedule for 2017, with the 17th-ranked Wildcats commencing their campaign this coming January and facing five teams in the nation's top 20.
Arizona will begin their season January 14th at William David Sitton Field against Santa Clara, with the Wildcats looking to defend home turf and start their pursuit of a national championship. Arizona kicks off PAC Conference play in Berkeley at #2 Cal the following weekend before hosting Utah Valley University to close out the month.
February will feature an exciting stretch of matches, with the Wildcats hosting #12 UCLA before welcoming Grand Canyon February 11th on Alumni Weekend. Following this matchup with the Lopes, the Wildcats will embark on a two-game road stretch against #20 San Diego State and Arizona State.
In the final month of the regular season, the Wildcats will take on more of the nation's best, taking on West Conference champion #15 Air Force at the Las Vegas Invitational before hosting Notre Dame in the Fourth Annual Parseghian Cup March 11th. The Wildcats will close out conference play against #14 Utah in a rematch of last year's National Quarterfinal before closing the regular season against New Mexico March 31st. Following the regular season, the Wildcats hope to return to the D1A Playoffs, having reached the top eight last year before falling to Utah in the quarterfinals. At the conclusion of the Fifteens season, Arizona will shift its attention to Sevens as the Wildcats close out the year at the 2017 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia on NBC.
The Wildcats recently concluded a preseason in which they won the West Coast Sevens and hosted the PAC Rugby Sevens Championship for the first time in program history. This year's Red-Blue Game saw a dramatic increase in attendance, with the crowd assisting the program in raising funds for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
Head Coach Sean Duffy has aimed for a challenging schedule for all teams in the program, with the Wildcats looking to build on last year's success and test themselves against the nation's best. "We play a number of ranked teams and our belief is that to truly get a feel for where we stand, we need to play quality teams and test ourselves. We bring back a lot of last year's team that got invaluable experience against these sides and they're as excited as I am to take another crack at it." One interesting wrinkle this year will feature a beefed-up schedule for the Second XV, with matches lined up against Stanford (Jan 20), USC (Jan 28), and Baylor (Mar 4) in addition to their traditional schedule. In addition, Arizona adds a full third side schedule to this year's docket, with their Developmental Side having joined the Rio Grande Conference (DII). "More Rugby for more players" said Duffy "we want to test ourselves at all levels and we're looking forward to it."
Last season the Wildcats made a number of positive marks, advancing to the National Quarterfinal of the D1A Playoffs and finishing in the Cup Semifinals of the CRC in addition to securing both the Parseghian Cup and bragging rights over their in-state foes. With 90% of last year's roster returning, a fantastic recruiting class, and the leadership of Captain Kyle Rogers and Vice Captain Sean Coleman, the Wildcats hope to continue their growth this coming season.
To view the full schedule, head to our Schedule & Results page.
Home matches in bold
January 14- vs Santa Clara- 2:00 PM
January 21- #2 Cal- 1:00 PM
January 28- Utah Valley- 2:00 PM
February 4- #12 UCLA- 2:00 PM
February 11- Grand Canyon- 2:00 PM*
February 18- #20 San Diego State- TBA
February 25- Arizona State- 3:30 PM
March 4- #15 Air Force (Las Vegas, NV)- TBA
March 11- Notre Dame- 2:00 PM**
March 25- #14 Utah- TBA
March 31- New Mexico- TBA
April 15- D1A First Round***
April 22- D1A Quarterfinal***
April 29- D1A Semifinal***
May 13- D1A Final***
June 3-4- Collegiate Rugby Championship (Philadelphia, PA)