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Collegiate Rugby Shield Announced as New All-Star Competition For MLR Pre-Draft Players

The Shield is another easy pathway for prospective professional Tennessee rugby players.

The Collegiate Rugby Shield is the new post-season College Rugby All-Star competition to be held annually at Zions Bank Stadium, home of MLR's Utah Warriors. The competition is slated to start on July 2.

The competition is a new event for MLR draft-eligible players to showcase their talents in front of MLR coaches and scouts before the draft. For Tennessee rugby players, this competition will provide the perfect opportunity to show what they can bring to a franchise.

The Shield is currently accepting players to participate. Their primary focus is on college rugby players graduating during the current academic year including those who graduated in December before this year's match.

The event was spearheaded by Utah Warriors General Manager, Brandon Sparks. MLR Tennessee was able to ask him a few questions below about what Tennessee players can expect when they prepare for the competition.

Q & A with Utah Warriors GM, Brandon Spark, on the Collegiate Rugby Shield

How did you come up with the idea of the Collegiate Rugby Shield?

The idea came from our experience running combines around the country last year. We noticed we weren’t getting the data we needed in the one day snap shot. So, we went looking for inspiration on how to achieve what we wanted and saw what the NFL does with their Senior Bowl. Boom, we had our inspiration for the Collegiate Rugby Shield. The 5 day long event will allow us and other teams the chance to see the players and get to know them as both athletes and people.

Which MLR (or other) professional rugby coaches/scouts are planning on attending the event? It’s an open invite with some stipulations. To get data and film they should talk to us and we can work with them on it.

What is the structure of the competition compared to other draft showcases like The Rugby Showcase? As we mentioned before this is a 5-day event that will feature training, professional development, and a nationally televised game. So this will allow for plenty of exposure for the players.

What will you be looking for when you look through applications from players to participate? What we look for are multiple things. The first and most important is their character. Second their desire to play at the next level. Third physical ability. Fourth skill set.

Why do you think collegiate rugby players should apply to participate? Players should participate to help boost their MLR and draft stock. Also, they will learn somethings abs grow their network. Lastly, who doesn’t want to be a part of something for the first time?

How to Apply as a Player

To have a chance at participating in the event, players must do the following

  1. Complete the form at the following link:

  2. Attach a rugby CV (curriculum vitae) with your submission - For help making a rugby CV, go to the following resource: Rugby CV Help

  3. Include a coaching recommendation in your application

For more details, please visit

We look forward to seeing Tennessee represented at the event.

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