By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship is set to take place this weekend in Chester, Pa. (see related story), and to get folks geared up for the tournament, the rugby sevens teams of Temple and Notre Dame universities took over the plaza at Comcast Tower today for a demonstration.
“It was football before football, so this is the sport that everybody played,” notes USA Sevens tournament director Dan Lyles. But he notes there are differences between football and rugby.
First, and perhaps most obvious, there are no helmets and pads — just person-to-person contact. As for the rules of the game:
“In rugby they call them the ‘laws’ of the game… you physically have to wrap the person, you can’t shoulder-charge them. You really just want to stop them. If you can get a good hit in, you get a good hit in,” Lyles explains.
He says rugby is action packed, but anyone can play anywhere — all you need is a ball.
“It’s really the sport we all played growing up. Everybody can score,” he says.
Lyles says the purpose of the demo was to raise awareness about rugby, a sport he says is the fastest growing in America.
The USA Sevens takes place this weekend at PPL Park in Chester, featuring local favorites Penn State and Temple. For more information go to www.usasevens.com.