SPRINGFIELD, MA – American International College (AIC) Director of Rugby T Fletcher will help to lead a team in the upcoming Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) season this summer. Fletcher has been chosen as an assistant coach for the New York Locals women’s team, one of sixteen competing; eight men’s and eight women’s teams will be divided into two conferences each.
“It's an honor and a privilege to be one of 32 coaches selected to coach professionally in the Premier Rugby 7s League,” Fletcher said of the appointment. “I appreciate the opportunity and the responsibility; it's a big one. I'm thrilled to continue giving back to a community that's given so much to me and growing the game. If you want to be good at something, you had better be passionate about it. Rugby is something I'm extremely passionate about, and I'm choosing to go after it.”
Fletcher was hired in 2019 as the head coach of the men’s rugby team at AIC in time for the sevens season, becoming the first female coach of a Division I men’s rugby program, quickly becoming the first female coach to take a men’s team to a national title game. That spring, the AIC Yellow Jackets reached the championship match of the USA Rugby 7s National Championship.
Named Director of Rugby at the College in December 2019, Fletcher led the women’s team to AIC’s first-ever national title in 2021. Under her leadership, AIC defeated West Chester University 29-17 in the NIRA Division II Championship Game.
Fletcher also has an extensive playing resume, which includes representing Team USA at the recent Rugby Americas North Senior Women’s 12s Tournament in the summer of 2022.
Founded in 2020 and first playing in 2021, the PR7s is a professional rugby sevens touring league that conducts high-level sevens play for men and women under one organizational umbrella, touting that pay for men and women competing is equal.
The upcoming season will feature tournaments across four weekends in June and July, with two each for the Eastern and Western Conference, a first for the league after expanding from four to eight franchises. The Locals will compete at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, on June 17 and at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 23. Qualifying teams will play for the 2023 Championship on August 5 at a site to be announced by PR7s.