As Stars Rugby 7s prepares for the biggest tour to date we are seeking sponsors for the Las Vegas Invitational and beyond. The program thrives as a result of the support from our sponsors and donors whom allow our players to play and focus on solely rugby while on tour. Stars Rugby 7s has over 80 participants spanning five teams for the LVI including the players for 2 men's and 3 women's teams, an internationally proven coaching staff, athletic trainers, a massage therapist, photographers and videographers. To better serve our athletes and allow them to focus on rugby, we are staying in houses away from the distractions of The Strip, provide all meals, all ground transportation, kit, and coordinate the staff involved in preventing/treating/recovering from injuries and the demands play. We feel it is best to mimic the experience of a professional tour in controlling the environment; the team is about development and wants to limit the outside distractions of being in Sin City.
Stars Rugby 7s is building success with each tour. What started with two women's teams at the 2014 Las Vegas Invitational has drastically grown and developed over the course of the past year. Most recently Stars competed at the Tobago International Rugby 7s Tournament with a women's elite team, women's developmental team, and a men's elite team. The women's elite won the championship over established USA touring side Atlantis 7s, the women's developmental side made the Plate final against Heidi's Heroes from the UK while the men took 2nd in the tournament to Esher, also from the UK. Stars was the highest placing USA program across the tournament. This is no small accomplishment as Stars won with committed players paying out of pocket as compared to programs that cover expenses and select the most elite rosters.
Other notable accomplishments from 2014 include traveling to the Stampede Sevens tournament in Calgary, Canada with 1 men's and 2 women's teams in the Premier bracket. The men's and women's first sides each made the finals in an hotly contested international bracket. The men lost only to the Hakwa Cannibals with a roster with Fijian National 7s caps; the women lost the final to an Aptoella team where 10 of the 12 players Team Canada experience across the 7s and 15s programs. Stars also ventured to Central Coast 7s in Australia in October; the women's pool featured the Australian National Team, Sydney Fiji Ranadi and the New Zealand Wasps - a team that featured 6 Black Ferns on their roster. The team soundly defeated Sydney Fiji Ranadi 43-0 in game won, lost the matches to the national sides, and rebounded to make the Bowl Final. The men drew a difficult pool of New Zealand 7s champions Wellington, Fijian powerhouse Red Rock, and Te Whanau from Australia. The Stars gained valuable international test opportunities in the toughest pools of the tournament - Australia and the Wasps reached the women's Cup semifinals while Red Rock and Wellington advanced to the men's Cup semifinals. Both Australia and Wellington advanced to the finals eventually falling to Canada and Daveta respectively.
There is a huge emphasis on growing the Stars rugby community, in continuing to work with rugby players over the course of several tournaments a year as well as domestic camps and development opportunities. Stars has partnered on high performance 7s camps with former USA Women's 7s National Team Coach Julie McCoy at the American Rugby Pro Training Center and has sent many players to the center for development. Stars is also running a USA Rugby Collegiate 7s Qualifier with Julie in April while assisting with additional collegiate 7s tournaments in April and May. Stars own developmental camps in the works with partner colleges; we aim to bring the same to the clubs our senior players call home.