MARIETTA, Ga. – Princeton University women's rugby will spend the week of March 20-24 training with Life University as a part of their yearly spring break tour. Last year, the Tigers travel and trained in Hong Kong.
"We chose Life for several reasons," said Princeton head coach Chris Ryan. "One, it gives us a great environment to concentrate on rugby and to experience the wonderful city of Atlanta. Two, it will give our players a chance to see how a varsity program works, and what the athletes do daily to be elite. Lastly, we will get to train and play with last year's national champions."
During the week, the Tigers will participate in strength and conditioning sessions, training sessions with the Running Eagles, as well as additional training sessions on their own. On Tuesday, Life U and Princeton will go up against each other in a 15s match, with the 7s teams facing off on Saturday.
In addition to the training and competition, Princeton will also take in the sights and explore the Atlanta Metro area.
"When I first started playing rugby, Princeton was one of the most well respected collegiate programs in the country," said Life U head coach Rosalind Chou. "Princeton women's rugby was the standard bearer in terms of professional and elite collegiate rugby. They built a dynasty in the mid-90s and into the 2000s. It was such an honor to be contacted by their leadership, and I was thrilled when they proposed to take their spring trip down to Atlanta. Having the opportunity to work alongside a legendary coach like Chris Ryan, and having our athletes training together to prepare for our respective seasons is really what the spirit of rugby is all about. I know we will learn a great deal from their visit, and I hope that the student-athletes from our respective teams create lifelong bonds."
Princeton has built a legacy of success during the life of their program. The Tigers were back to back 15s National Champions in 1995 and 1996, and made appearances in the Final Four six other times in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005.
More recently, their 7s team finished third at the 7s Nationals in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
Coach Chris Ryan is just as successful in his own right. Having been involved in rugby for over 30 years, he was successful as a player with time spent multiple with multiple teams over his playing career. As a coach, Ryan honed his skills, working with a who's who of American rugby coaches, including the legendary Emil Signes, who coached Princeton and the USA Men's 7s team. As either a head coach or an assistant, Ryan has been a part seven national championship teams.
Ryan has been at Princeton since 2005, and took over head coaching responsibilities from Signes in the fall of 2013.