The Iowa Central rugby team will get their chance to prove themselves on the big stage this weekend.
The Tritons, who were forced to move up a division midway through the year, will take on Western Michigan for the DIAA College Rugby Fall Championship.
"Western Michigan is solid," ICCC head coach Brent Nelson said. "We were able to see them in the quarterfinals down in Greenville, North Carolina. They have to real weaknesses and they're very fit."
Iowa Central reached the finals with wins over Virginia Tech and defending fall champion Bowling Green. They made the DII final four last year before falling short of their ultimate goal.
The Broncos earned their spot with wins over Tennessee and St. Joseph's.
"They wore down Tennessee with pressure," Nelson said. "WMU has a couple of forwards who are All-American caliber players, and htey were right there last spring in 7s, so their backs are quite good too. But make no mistake about it, we have some guys who can really ball as well.
"We have worked very hard to get to this match and I think we stack up well against them."
Nelson also is excited to have several players back competing closer to 100 percent after battling injuries during the year.
"We have strategically used our forwards and not put too many miles on the tires either," he said. "So they will be fresh and rested. We have a great group of young leaders who keep the boys focused on rugby. Some of our freshmen have really stepped up too.
Iowa Central vs. Western Michigan will take place Sunday from the Sportsplex at Matthews in Charlotte, North Carolina. The match is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Iowa time and air on FloRugby.
"The politics have been a struggle but for the most part the boys have ignored them and gone out and played the game," Nelson said. "We respect the hell out of Western Michigan but I'm not conceding anything. Our boys are ready for this opportunity."