Cover photo courtesy of Fred Bressette

Buffalo Rugby Club will host the 2022 Atlantic North Super Regional Rugby Festival on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora.

The Festival will bring together both men’s and women’s club teams as part of national & regional tournament competitions and showcase local high school teams as Hamburg vs. Kenmore girls and Canisius vs. Kenmore boys will also take part in the event.

The Festival is one of four Super Regional tournaments for senior clubs under the umbrella of USA Rugby, the national governing body for the sport in the United States.

“We are very excited to showcase Buffalo and the Western New York area as the local host of this year’s Atlantic North Super Regional,” said Jeff Qualey, president of Buffalo Rugby Club. “We thank Empire GU [Geographic Union], USA Rugby, and the Town of Aurora for working with us to host this event. WNY has a large rugby community from youth, high school, and college to men’s and women’s clubs. We are excited to share our local passion with the rest of the Atlantic conferences.”

The Atlantic North Super Regional will feature twenty-six teams within seven divisions hailing from New England GU, Eastern Penn GU, Capital GU, and Empire GU.

As one of four Super Regionals, winners in the women’s Division 1 and Division 2 and men’s D1, D2, and D3 competitions will advance to final four of the USA Rugby Senior Club National Championships. The winners of the D3 women’s and D4 men’s will take home honors as Atlantic North Super Regional champions.

“As the first Union to host the Atlantic North Super Regional Rugby Festival, the Empire GU is committed to delivering a professionally produced event,” said Ken Pape, president of Empire GU. “Buffalo Rugby Club will be a fantastic local host for this event and Western New York is the perfect setting to welcome a premier rugby event. We encourage current and emerging fans of our sport to join us for what will be a great weekend of competition and camaraderie.”

Buffalo Rugby capped off another successful fall campaign as the D2 side captured the Empire GU Premiership title while the D3 team claimed the Upstate Division Championship within the EGU. Maninderjit Singh was named D2 side team MVP for fall 2021 while Simon Honig led the club in overall points. On the D3 team, Joey Brooks was named MVP while Collin deGuehery led the side in points. Mike Lang is the current captain of Buffalo Rugby Club. BRC is coached by team Hall of Fame member Steve Caruana.

BRC men’s D3 is currently participating in the spring playoff. Both sides will travel to Bethany, CT this weekend where the D3 side will take on New Haven RC in the Empire GU semifinal while the D2 squad will face the Hartford Wanderers for a friendly test match. With a win against New Haven, D3 would have to travel to New Jersey to take on the Union Mudturtles RFC in the EGU final with the winner qualifying for the Super Regional Festival in East Aurora.

BRC Div. 2 is already qualified for the Festival and will compete in the USA Rugby senior club ‘sweet sixteen’ as part of one of the four Super Regional tournaments. Buffalo will take on a team representing the Capital GU to be known in the coming weeks.

Buffalo is looking to make it back to the national ‘elite eight’ for D2 clubs after having last reached the elite eight round in 2019. Throughout BRC’s history, the club has reached the national round of sixteen 13 times and the round of eight 5 times.

Admission to the Festival is free and open to the public. Event organizers will confirm all fixtures and times before the event.

Please visit the Empire GU, Buffalo Rugby, and Kenmore Rugby websites for more information

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