What to watch for this weekend (Feb. 23)

D1A Rugby: What to watch for this weekend (Feb. 23)

BOULDER, Colo. — The California and Allied Conferences will be in full swing this weekend, but there are some fascinating cross-conference match up on the docket as well.

All eight California Conference teams are playing this weekend. So far, it looks like Cal Poly and St. Mary’s are the teams to beat. Stanford Head Coach Matt Sherman will take on his former team in San Diego State. Aztecs coach Matt Hawkins (Captain of the USA Men’s Sevens team) is back on the sidelines after missing previous engagements due to his playing commitments. Poly will host UC-Davis in San Luis Obispo, a win there would be a tall order for Davis.

Life and Arkansas State are both in action, but out of their conference. We’ll get to see how these two Mid-South powerhouses have shaken out after excellent showings at the Sevens National Championships late last year. ASU won the whole thing, giving them momentum and confidence, even in the 15-a-side game. The Red Wolves will play Northern Colorado in Jonesboro, Ark., and it could be a rough welcome to D1A for NC, even though the Bears have been a dominant force in DII nationally for many years. Delaware will travel to Marietta, Ga. to play Life. The Blue Hens have some talented players in the backs and forwards, but Life is absolutely stacked and experienced.

In the Allied Rugby Conference (ARC), Baylor travels to Lubbock to play Texas Tech, OU and Texas will play the Red River Rivalry game, and Sam Houston State go to College Station to take on a struggling Texas A&M side. Out of all the conferences in full swing, the ARC might be the most interesting. It is wide open with three new teams (Sam Houston State, Baylor, and Texas Tech) in a position to shake things up. Tech is a bit green, but according to coaches in the conference, are the dark horse because they have incredibly athletic players who get better every time they play a game.