The American Raptors and Infinity Park are proud to host the first Challenge Cup of the Americas. The round robin matches will be played June 11 and June 18 with two rugby teams from North America – the American Raptors and the University of British Columbia Old Boys Ravens – and two from South America – Jaguares XV (Argentina) and Peñarol Rugby (Uruguay) – facing off.
The American Raptors, based in Glendale, Colorado, traveled to Montevideo, Uruguay last fall to test their mettle against both local club teams and the Uruguayan National Team’s Academy side. While in Uruguay the Raptors were able to visit and spend time with teams and forge a relationship that brings the Superliga Americana de Rugby teams to the United States this summer.
“We were fortunate to meet the leaders of Superliga Americana de Rugby when the American Raptors toured in Uruguay last Fall,” said Mike Dunafon, Mayor of Glendale, CO. “Their goals are the same as our goals—to promote the growth of rugby in the Americas and to strengthen the quality of play in our respective countries. To now have the opportunity to welcome SLAR and the Canadian-based UBCOB Ravens to Glendale for the first Challenge Cup of the Americas is an exciting next step in our development.”
The Superliga Americana de Rugby is a professional league organized by Sudamérica Rugby, one of six regional associations of World Rugby, the international sporting federation. Participants of the league include Jaguares XV (Argentina), Cobras Brasil XV (Brazil), Selknam (Chile), Cafeteros Pro (Colombia), Olimpia Lions (Paraguay) and Peñarol Rugby (Uruguay).
“This initiative is part of the Superliga Americana de Rugby’s strategic expansion plan, which seeks to include other territories within the Americas and continue promoting our tournament, the Unions that comprise it, and fundamentally the players; these goals will continue to be our priority,” said Sebastián Piñeyrúa, President of Sudamérica Rugby. “We have always sought growth in the Americas through competition, and today we see in SLAR a good vehicle to achieve it.”
“We believe that competition can become an organized, sustainable, planned and meaningful pathway for the hundreds of thousands of players that play the game of rugby within the unions of our continent.”
Founded in 1974, the UBCOB Ravens have lifted the Rounsefell Cup (BC Championship) on seven occasions, most recently in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons. The Ravens are also the defending Canadian Club Champions after winning most recent iteration in 2018. On Jan 13, 2018, the Ravens beat the SaberCats in Houston and currently hold a 1-0 record against teams
from Major League Rugby. The Ravens had scheduled matches against the Toronto Arrows and Seattle Seawolves that were cancelled due to COVID, and they are looking forward to competing in high-performance rugby again in Glendale this summer.
Fans can expect an exciting international competition hosted in the Infinity Park stadium. Two matches will be played each day on June 11 and June 18 with the first match at 1:00 pm and the second kick off at 3:30 pm. Infinity Park is a great place to experience rugby and even first-time fans find the intimate placement of the pitch close to fans an exciting opportunity to learn more about rugby.
The fun is enhanced with plenty of food options and a safe environment for children. Cost for the event is affordable with daily tickets $10 for adults and kids 12 and under enter for free. All four matches will be streamed on Infinity Park’s website. For more match information check out the Tickets & Events section at InfinityParkatGlendale.com
About the Superliga Americana de Rugby
Played since 2020, the first season had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 after only three games.
In 2021, 32 of the 33 games were completed amidst strict sanitary bubbles that meant teams were quartered for three months in two venues – fourteen of fifteen games were played in Santiago de Chile; and eighteen games – including semifinals, were played in Montevideo, Uruguay.
In 2022, five venues were used – Viña del Mar and Santiago (Chile), Asunción and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) and Montevideo (Uruguay). No champion was found in 2020. An unbeaten Jaguares XV (Argentina) was champion in 2021. Peñarol Rugby (Uruguay) was champion in 2022. Participants in 2021 and 2022 were: Jaguares XV (Argentina), Cobras Brasil XV (Brazil), Selknam (Chile), Cafeteros Pro (Colombia), Olimpia Lions (Paraguay) and Peñarol Rugby (Uruguay).
About The American Raptors
The American Raptors are a rugby club composed of high-level crossover athletes. Players come from collegiate and professional American athletic teams playing sports like football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and track & field, these athletes possess all the necessary skills to excel at the game of rugby. By placing them in a full-time rugby training environment, our goal is to expedite their development and inject the United States national team with elite talent to help them compete on the global stage and eventually win the Rugby World Cup.