Sunday, March 1, 2015

Player Nominations Open for Calgary Stampede 7s Tour.

A few updates will be coming soon including:

*A recap on our Las Vegas Invitational/USA 7s Tour
*A "State of the Stars" look back at our first year and what more will come in 2015
*Updates from Stars around the US on their college/club seasons
*More player & coaches profiles

But most importantly, player nominations are now open for the 2015 Calgary Stampede 7s Tour in July 2015. Anyone interested in touring MUST fill our the player survey included in the body of the announcement BY MARCH 15TH:

Stars Rugby 7s aims take 2 men's teams to both compete in the Premier bracket. Our aim is to win the tournament with our 1st side while continuing the development of our 2nd side facing elite teams in 2 days of structured rugby 7s competition. The Premier bracket generally hosts teams like the Howlers, the British Police, the Calgary Hornets, Rams, and more. Last year the inaugural Stars men's side fell in the Cup Championship to the Hakwa Cannibals, a Fijian team that featured former internationals on their roster.

Stars aims to once again take 2 women's sides to compete in the Premier bracket alongside teams like the Dog River Howlers, Aptoella, and Edmonton Gold. Last year our women's 1st side made the Cup Championship and fell to Aptoella while the 2nds made the Cup semifinals and took 4th overall. Several of Rugby Canada National 7s players including Kayla Mack, Ashley Steacy and Magali Harvey were featured on the Aptoella roster alongside former 7s and 15s players Barbara Mervin, Andrea Burk, Amanda Thornborough and more.

Tour is slated for June 30th-July 5th. All players will be required to arrive on June 30th (and may travel sooner/stay later at their own expense) so as to attend all training sessions, team activities July 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Banff, Canada. The team will move to Calgary the afternoon of July 3rd as tournament play begins Friday evening at the Calgary Rugby Union with two pool play matches. Final pool play games and Cup rounds take place Saturday July 4th.

Tour fee is estimated at $725 to include 5 hotel nights in Banff and Calgary, all team transportation including rentals and gas, tournament fees, all team meals with additional food/water/Gatorade purchased for tournament days at the fields, playing & training kit, athletic trainers/coaches/managers/admin, entrance to Banff National Park and more. This tour fee is an estimate and is subject to change pending final numbers/arrangements as well as team sponsorships. Stars offer many fundraising and sponsorship opportunities to help offset costs. The tour fee will be $550 for returning Stars players as they already have the full playing kit.

Stars Rugby 7s is committed to developing players, to expanding individual skills, while putting those that demonstrate top ability, fitness and dedication on the path to 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The program features top international coaches, former World Rugby 7s players, and an elite staff of athletic trainers and physios. We have the support of those involved with the National Development Academies and the opportunity to set up exchanges with clubs all over the world. Players that play for the Stars in Calgary will be given preference for remaining 2015 tours including RugbyDaze 7s in Kelowna, Canada in early August, Serevi Rugbytown 7s in mid-August, RugbyDaze 7s in Edmonton, Canada in September, a return to Australia with the addition of Fiji in October, New York 7s in November, and Tobago International 7s in December. We believe in continued development of a core group of players that regularly attend tournaments together and while identifying and adding new talent to the program. We believe every player involved should go home a stronger player with a bigger rugby network, a higher rugby education, the ability to make their home club better, and to grow the game of rugby 7s.

Interested players MUST fill out this survey by March 15th. Selections will be made by March 22nd with a $100 deposit due no later than March 30th. Please note that selections are to be a part of the general tour and not a guaranteed placement on the 1st or 2nds teams. Teams will be determined through performance at training sessions. There will be non-rostered reserve players designated as "13th men" in case of injuries/illnesses; those players will have the option to play with local clubs in the event they are not called to Stars rosters.

A schedule of payments and deadlines will be included with the official invites. Any deposits made are non-refundable until a replacement player is found. All Stars must adhere to the payment plans as set by the team or face financial penalties for late payments with the risk of forfeiting their spot on the team.

Responsibility, communication and dedication to the team all play a factor in selections and continued touring opportunities with the Stars Rugby 7s program. Rugby skills, fitness, and 7s experience are the other determining factors. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Stars Director Liz Entwhistle.