HERE COME THE CATS: SCHEDULE SET FOR 2022
Jon Rogers and the Wildcats will take on a gauntlet of nationally-ranked sides in 2022. (Photo credits: Alex Ho)
Dec 7- Arizona formally announced their 2022 schedule today, with the Wildcats set to host the full complement of opponents after a pandemic-shortened season.
The Wildcats open the season with a #12 national ranking and will put that to the test early and often, with seven of their eight opponents also featuring in the top 20.
Arizona will open the season January 22nd against UC-Santa Barbara, with the Gauchos taking on the Wildcats at the University of San Diego in a neutral site matchup. January will also feature their home opener as #13 UCLA travels to William David Sitton field. Part one of the calendar will conclude with a trip to Phoenix to take on #17 Grand Canyon before a February 12th bye week.
The middle part of the Wildcats' schedule looks to be its most challenging, with back-to-back matchups against #1 Cal and #5 Central Washington before taking on #22 Texas A&M for the first time in recent program history. Following Spring Break, Arizona will travel to #7 BYU followed by another road contest two weeks later against #20 Utah to close the regular season.
The D1A postseason is set to return to normal operations this April, with the opening rounds April 9th which the Wildcats hope to qualify for through their play. In addition to a full First XV calendar, the Second XV is set for a full schedule. For Director of Rugby Sean Duffy, the schedule drop is an exciting but challenging slate that will test the side early. "We want to see where we are, and we don't want to wait until March to find out. Let's test ourselves, test our systems, and give our fans the Rugby they've been missing the past year. We've seen huge interest in just our preseason friendlies and Sevens tournaments on PAC-12 Network so we expect more attention, bigger crowds, and more pressure. That pressure is a privilege."
Arizona completed a truncated 2021 season ranked 9th nationally, going 3-2. The Wildcats boast of number of returning players, including a number of fifth year seniors opting to return for a full final season in Tucson. In addition, the side has welcomed in a strong recruiting class which is already showing promise through the preseason. Arizona is set to announce broadcast partnerships shortly as well as this year's on-field leadership team.