Updated: Jan 12
The UBRAA would like to congratulate five UB ruggers who were selected to participate in National Collegiate Rugby's All-Star Shield Challenge select side tournament this weekend at AVEVA Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Hooker Dominic Nassivera '22, 8-man Omar Elabdouni '23, scrumhalf Paul Appleby '22, inside center Matt Conforti '22, and winger Kelvin Huynh '23 will represent UB Rugby as members of the Tri-State Vikings as they face off against seven other regional all-star sides from across the country.
In addition to a financial contribution the UBRAA made to sponsor their travel, we would like to wish the boys luck as they play on the national stage.
The Tri-State Vikings are comprised predominantly of players from the Liberty Conference. 48 players have been selected for the squad and they will be divided into two sides, the All-Stars and the Rising Stars. The players arrived in Houston today and are training all week in advance of selection for the games.
This unique All Star event includes the best players from across all men’s divisions, including Division I, Division II and Small College. Over 300 players, representing 100 schools, were selected based on regional tryouts and coach nominations.
The All Star teams will compete in pool play and then knockout rounds leading to the Shield Challenge championship. MLR representatives will be in attendance over the weekend to identify future professional athletes.
In addition to the All Star competition, five Rising Star teams will also compete for a championship. The Rising Stars, consisting of emerging all-star calibre players, pull 120 players from over 40 schools.
“The All Star Shield Challenge brings together the best players in college rugby. We are excited to give these talented student athletes a platform to showcase their talents and compete alongside other top-level players.” - Jeremy Treece, NCR CEO.
The Tri-State All-Stars will compete in pool play on Saturday and a knockout round on Sunday, while the Rising Stars will have round-robin games spread across both days. All-Stars games will be live-streamed on NCR's YouTube channel.
The UBRAA is registered with the New York State Department of State as a not-for-profit corporation and is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.