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Wildcat Rugby team to start conference play in California

By Maxx Wolfson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 27, 2000
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Maxx Wolfson

The University of Arizona rugby team travels to San Diego, Calif. tomorrow to take on the two-time national champions at the Division 2 level UC San Diego Tritans, at Warren West Field on the UC Campus in La Jolla.

"A team does not win two national championships by luck," UA rugby head coach Dave Sittion said. "It takes talent, diligence and performance which UC San Diego has."

Arizona (1-1) has won 18 of its last 21 conference matches and two of the last three crowns will play the Tritans for the first time since they beat them 62-5 in Tucson at the Domino's Invitational in the fall of 1997.

Saturday, the Wildcats will travel up the coast of California to take on the Stanford Cardinal in a non-conference match-up.

That game will feature two of the top teams in the nation.

"Even with the short rest time between the San Diego game we are happy we have the opportunity to play them." Sittion said. "Our series against each other has been like a see-saw battle with us (UA) winning the last two meetings."

The Wildcats will be without their top player fullback Chris Kron who will be playing on the United States Eagles team, which is the United States national rugby team.

Kron is one of 15 players in the country to be named to this team which will play games in such places as Wellington, Sydney, Dubai, Mar del Plata (Argentina), Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan and Paris.

"Without Kron we not only lose his physical attributes but his leadership as well which is every bit as important," Sittion said. "When he was injured against ASU last year we had many players step up. We expect the same this year when he is gone for four games.

Mike Martinez, who may also be a member of the international team one day, will fill in for Kron.

Kron is expected back to the Arizona lineup March 3 versus UCLA.

Arizona will return home to face Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Friday, Feb. 11 and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Sunday, Feb. 13.

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