It’s hard to believe that it’s already been four years, but what started in Glendale in 2012 has already become a staple of summer. Quite simply, the Serevi RugbyTown Sevens Tournament, held at Infinity Park, is a “can’t miss event” on the local sports docket.

“The SRS tournament continues to grow in stature as we enter the fourth year of the competition,” said Glendale Raptors director of rugby Mark Bullock. “There are more international teams competing and the USA military teams have raised the standard of their play.”

The Armed Forces Rugby Tournament has quietly become the gem of the event. And now, the military teams are competing on a much higher level than when the tournament began.

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Teams representing each American military branch − the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard will look to compete for both the overall tournament and military championships.

“We look forward to the Armed Forces Rugby Tournament each year, and having it nestled inside the Serevi RugbyTown Sevens has been an incredible experience. Housing all the clubs in the same area and sharing practices pitches for the final week before the tournament has greatly improved camaraderie and makes for a memorable event,” said James Senn of the US Navy.

Can the U.S. All-Army team defend their military title? Last year, they stormed through “Pool A” finishing with 12 points, winning the SRS Military Championship and advancing to the overall tournament third-place match. Despite their relatively young existence (est. 2012), the All-Army team has sent a multitude of players to the U.S. National Team and still appears to have a talent advantage within the “military five.” Or, will the U.S. Air Force or Coast Guard teams press them? Air Force has been simply phenomenal, getting to the championship game in each of past three tournaments, only to come up short.

Regardless of which military branch shines at this year’s competition, one thing can be said of them all – their active commitment to service while becoming formidable rugby teams is impressive.

In addition to the military branch teams, several foreign national teams will make their return in this year’s tournament. They include Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Canadian-based club Upright Rugby Rogues will further represent competition north of the border.

Other club teams competing in this year’s event include the Glendale Raptors, Texas-based Negro y Azul, Northeast Olympic Development Academy, the Serevi Institute, Stars Rugby 7s, Collegiate All-Americans, the Denver 7s and Eastern U.S. venture Atlantis, a rugby invitational side which specializes in sevens.

This article appeared in the July issue of Mile High Sports Magazine.