It’s a national championship couple of weeks for UNC-Charlotte head coach John Brown.
After getting the good news that his 49ers will get an at-large berth to the USA Rugby College 7s Championships, Brown checked his calendar and saw he was busy the weekend before—he’ll be cheering on his son, Jack, at the Boys HS Rugby National Championships as Jack lines up at second row for the Charlotte Tigers.
UNC-Charlotte is the defending national 7s champion in Men’s D2 College, but failed to win the Southern Conference title, losing a close game to East Carolina.
“In fairness to ECU, they played very well,” said Brown. “But we had a yellow card and made some mental errors in a game that was nip and tuck all the way. ECU took advantage and scored at the end to win the final.”
Brown said his team was grateful to USA Rugby for seeing the quality within his team and awarding one of three at-large bids to the 49ers.
“They’ve got a tough job there and we’re just happy to be able to go,” he said.
And, as we said, Brown will be traveling the week before, as well. Jack Brown tutored Ireland with Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, and the 6-4 junior is a solid part of a Charlotte Tigers team that is having one of its best seasons.
Brown the elder, who played for Mosely in the Birmingham area in his native England, will happily doff the coach role for the weekend and just be proud dad on the sidelines.
“It’s very exciting,” said the coach. “I’m very proud of him and I think he and the team are excited to compete.”
And then it’s back to the business of a national collegiate 7s championships. For UNC-Charlotte, the task is made all the more difficult by a need for funds. It’s not easy to finish the season for any team, and the 49ers are looking to raise some money to help defray costs.
“It’s a struggle,” said Brown. “And as you get better, it gets harder. We’re a self-funded team, and we’re performing well, but we do need help.”
To help out the 49er Rugby Club in their trip to the national championship, see their crowdfund site here: