The 2011 Cal rugby season will open January 8 with a now-traditional kick-off match against the Division II Humboldt State Lumberjacks..
What won't be traditional will be the venue. With Witter Rugby Field decommissioned -- for ruggers, at least -- the 'Jacks will be hosted at Cal's new home venue on Treasure Island.
Cal's new turf, long used for club play and tournaments, will be the site of three matches on the Bears' 2011 schedule, including the opening game of a 90-year rivalry known as "The World Cup."
The Bears are slated to return to Witter for the 2013 season after Memorial Stadium renovations and additions are completed.
The season-opener against Humboldt State is a tune-up for Division I and College Premier League play. The Bears have shut out the 'Jacks in their last two meetings (103-0 in 2009 and 152-0 in 2010).
On Jan. 22, Cal will take on the Division 1 Chico State Wildcats on Treasure Island. Chico has elected to remain a NorCal Division 1 side in 2011 and not step up to Premier League status with the Bears.
Eight teams, including Cal, make up the Pacific Conference of the new College Premier League. Beginning in March, the Bears will take on CPL rivals San Diego State, UC-Davis, Central Washington, UCLA, Claremont, St. Mary's and Cal Poly-SLO, aiming for the national championship rounds in May.
All of Cal's CPL matches will be played away at its rivals' venues.
The last of Cal's "home" matches on Treasure Island will be the Feb. 19 opener of the World Cup. Named for its original sponsor, the Vancouver World newspaper, the Cup pits the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds against the Bears in a best-score-in-two tournament.. The closing match will be played on the T-Birds' pitch in Vancouver on March 24.
Cal won the 2010 Cup with a 63-point margin, following a 15-point victory in 2009. With those, the Bears have taken the Cup in four consecutive outings and 11 times out of the past 14.