Team Spotlight: The Liberty Conference All-Stars
The Liberty Conference All-Stars come together for the first time on August 10th in Bermuda to take on the Republic of Texas All-Stars for the first ever Collegiate All-Star Rugby Cup.
Newly Formed Liberty Conference Consists of High Class Rugby Clubs
With their inaugural season coming in the Fall of 2017, the Liberty Conference pulls together some of the best programs in the Northeast. This new conference consists of a total of 16 teams all located in the Northeast United States. These teams consists of top tier programs such as Iona College, Stony Brook University, Fordham University, and many more.
Andrew Gheraldi, Head Coach of Fordham University, said, "We joined/formed the Liberty Conference to have like minded institutions in the Northeast who wished to compete at the highest level of rugby join together. Our clubs are primarily student driven clubs, and this was important to us in our formation process. Fordham has worked hard over the past 5 year to rebuild our program, and we are humbled and excited to take that next step through the Liberty Conference."
How the Liberty Conference All-Star Team Came Together
With trying to promote the upcoming USA Islanders and Saracens Match-Up, URugby decided to create the 2017 Collegiate All-Star Rugby Cup to draw more interest towards the match.
Gheraldi discussed the opportunity that came about to him and the rest of the conference, saying, "Steve Siano approached us with this opportunity to create a Liberty Conference All-Star team, and the timing for us could not have been more perfect. We knew we would be appealing to D1A leadership for our admission, and felt this would be a fine showcase for what our league can do not just for rugby in our respective institutions, but collegiate rugby on the east coast."
Potential Players to Represent the Liberty Conference All-Stars
Gheraldi stated, "We have opened our first team up to Liberty Conference players capable of joining the club in Bermuda; this includes players who have recently graduated. We are excited for this showcase opportunity for our clubs." While the official roster is still being finalized, there are plenty or players that are expected to participate.
Some of the players that will travel to Bermuda to represent the Liberty Conference come from Binghamton University, who lead their team to a victory in the 2016 Bowl Series over Loyola with a score of 52 to 27. These players consist of Ashkon Assemi, Brandon Healy, and Nick Coppola. Coppola is credited for scoring the first try of that game and Healy scored the conversion after the try. Healy would also score the following penalty kick.
Other players will also represent the Liberty Conference from UMass, Fordham, Stony Brook, Iona, and more.
Liberty All-Stars to Compete in 2017 Collegiate All-Stars Rugby Cup
On August 10th prior to the #ISLvsSAR match up, the Liberty Conference All-Stars will face off against the Republic of Texas All-Stars in the inaugural 2017 Collegiate All-Star Rugby Cup. The game will take place in beautiful Bermuda at the Bermuda National Sport Centre at 5:30 ADT.