The Denver 7s Rugby Tournament is drawing top teams from around the West for its 50th annual competition at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO, on Saturday, June 24.
Held just outside of the Mile High City, the venerable tournament is hosting games on 12 fields throughout the complex as well as the stadium. All games played in the stadium are streaming live on FloRugby.
Watch the 2017 Denver 7s Rugby Tournament LIVE on FloRugby
Denver 7s has partnered with the TRY Colorado Rugby youth program to run gams for younger athletes. At the top level, this is a crucial West Qualifier tournament for men's clubs. Among the teams expected to play in the Qualifier are the Denver Barbarians, Kansas City Blues, Gentlemen of Aspen, Greater Omaha Area Touring Side (GOATS), Black Dragon out of Denver, and the Rugby Utah National Development Academy.
Several of these teams are legitimate national championship contenders, and most look to combine experienced in-club talent with some college players or recent grads to raise their chances. That's partly why many clubs will run out several teams on the day.
Under coach Tyson Meek, the Barbarians boast not only established players such as Michael Al-Jiboori, former NMHU standout Kevon Williams, and the ever-talented Max de Achaval but also a number of new arrivals, including Nick Boyer (formerly of Cal), Spencer Purnell (Florida State), Jeremy Misailegalu (NMHU), Bobby Impson (Oklahoma), and Jackson Ingram (San Diego). USA sevens player Ben Pinkelman is back training with Denver, and USA prospect PJ Eteaki is there, too.
Aspen is always good for a few surprises in the summer and might still be in the process of building its team. Rugby Utah has some familiar faces, with University of Utah standouts Chad Gough and Gabe Ruflin joining BYU speedster and USA prospect Tua Laei, capped sevens player Don Pati, and capped 15s player John Cullen on the team. Add in Davenport product and USA prospect Anthony Welmers and you've got exactly what's advertised -- a national development-level team.
And that's just a taste. There's also a serious men's club bracket, a men's social that is maybe not quite as serious (but don't tell them that), and a high school boys bracket that is only getting better.
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