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The National Intercollegiate Rugby Association, the competition for women’s NCAA varsity programs, will start its D1 season on September 3 with an expanded number of teams.

Princeton joins the D1 conference.

“There are so many exciting sports on Princeton’s campus, and we are thrilled to add to that list this fall,” said Princeton Head Coach Josie Ziluca. Ziluca had a lot of work to do after he appointment in 2019. While Princeton was on the road to being an NCAA varsity program, they also had to start all of that while navigating the COVID shutdowns. Ziluca’s biggest victory may well have been just keeping the players and the program connected when they couldn’t play.

Princeton opens the season on the road at Sacred Heart and then hosts Army on September 10.

“You only have one chance to make a first impression, and we cannot wait to make our debut this season,” said the coach.

With the Tigers joining, NIRA’s D1 is nine teams. Defending champs Dartmouth will get a bye on the first weekend and have scheduled a scrimmage. the other eight are all set for action with Mount St. Mary’s at West Point, Brown at Quinnipiac in a really interesting early-season clash, Harvard at Long Island, and Princeton at Sacred Heart.

A talented Harvard side has a good mix of youth and experience, and with Dartmouth graduating some big names—two Sorensen award winners and a capped 7s Eagle—and 2021 runners-up Army doing the same, the Crimson might be nicely poised this season. Quinnipiac returns almost all its roster and should be much improved. Brown, with a new coach in Ros Chou and a good pool of rising juniors and sophomores will want to build on their semifinal appearance from last fall.

The NIRA championship weekend is set for November 19, and on that day the D1, D2, and D3 champions will be crowned.


Fall 2021 NIRA D1 Schedule
(This has been updated with two fixture changes)

9/3Mt. St. Mary’satArmyNIRA D1
9/3BrownatQuinnipiacNIRA D1
9/3HarvardatLong IslandNIRA D1
9/3PrincetonatSacred HeartNIRA D1
9/10DartmouthatLong IslandNIRA D1
9/10ArmyatPrincetonNIRA D1
9/10QuinnipiacatHarvardNIRA D1
9/10Sacred HeartatBrownNIRA D1
9/17DartmouthatSacred HeartNIRA D1
9/17HarvardatMt. St. Mary’sNIRA D1
9/17ArmyatQuinnipiacNIRA D1
9/17BrownatPrincetonNIRA D1
9/24QuinnipiacatDartmouthNIRA D1
9/24PrincetonatHarvardNIRA D1
9/24BrownatArmyNIRA D1
9/24Long IslandatMt. St. Mary’sNIRA D1
9/30Sacred HeartatHarvardNIRA D1
10/1ArmyatDartmouthNIRA D1
10/1Mt. St. Mary’satBrownNIRA D1
10/8Long IslandatBrownNIRA D1
10/8DartmouthatMt. St. Mary’sNIRA D1
10/15DartmouthatHarvardNIRA D1
10/15Sacred HeartatQuinnipiacNIRA D1
10/15PrincetonatMt. St. Mary’sNIRA D1
10/15Long IslandatArmyNIRA D1
10/22PrincetonatDartmouthNIRA D1
10/22HarvardatBrownNIRA D1
10/22Mt. St. Mary’satSacred HeartNIRA D1
10/22QuinnipiacatLong IslandNIRA D1
10/29BrownatDartmouthNIRA D1
10/29HarvardatArmyNIRA D1
10/29Sacred HeartatLong IslandNIRA D1
10/29Mt. St. Mary’satQuinnipiacNIRA D1
11/5Sacred HeartatArmyNIRA D1
11/6Long IslandatPrincetonNIRA D1
11/12NIRA SemifinalsNIRA D1
11/12NIRA SemifinalsNIRA D1
11/19NIRA FinalsNIRA D1



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