Armed Forces Rugby invades Colorado
By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau and Staff Sgt. Katherine McDowell, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 22, 2012
GLENDALE, Colo. -- Armed forces teams from all five branches of service took to the pitch Aug. 18-19 to see who would reign supreme as the best rugby team in the Department of Defense. The U.S. military teams weren't the only ones represented, as international military teams also came to prove their mettle.
The Air Force team, who had won the title the last eight years straight, fought their way into the finals where they squared off against the Marine Corps team for the tournament hardware. After a grueling battle between the seven-man teams, the dust settled leaving one team still standing. The Marine Corps team claimed victory in a thrilling 33-31 finish to be named the best rugby team in the military.
In the international matches, the Air Force team scrapped with the British Army team and the French Defense Forces team.
"Being able to show well against the British Army and also the French Defense Forces, that for me was a very nice part of this competition," said Maj. Andy McQuade, Air Force team head coach.
The tournament was hosted at Infinity Park, an official rugby stadium that seats 4,000 people in Glendale. With the volume of fans and the level of competition, many of the players stated the championship was memorable.
"Playing out in front of the fans really lifts our spirits and helps us play better," explained Staff Sgt. Marcus Satavo, Air Force team captain. "The level of competition here is really high."
This was the first time the event was hosted at a location other than a military base, as well as the first time international teams were invited to participate against the U.S. military teams.