Press Release from MLR
SALT LAKE CITY (April 19, 2018) – Major League Rugby kicks off a historic season of U.S. domestic rugby this weekend with three matches. This marks the official start to MLR’s inaugural season, featuring seven teams across the United States in a 10-week regular season schedule followed by postseason playoff and championship matches. Each weekend of action is highlighted by the MLR Game of the Week on CBS Sports Network.
- NOLA Gold at Houston SaberCats | April 21, 3 p.m. EST, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, ESPN+ and WatchESPN
- Austin Elite at Glendale Raptors | April 21, 5 p.m. EST, CBS Sports Network – MLR Game of the Week
- San Diego Legion at Seattle Seawolves | April 22, 8 p.m. EST, ROOT SPORTS NW, ESPN+ and WatchESPN
MLR executives are excited to welcome a new era of rugby.
Austin Elite, Richard Osborn – President/Co-Founder
“What an exciting time for rugby in the USA. I am honored and proud of all our partners who have put in so much time and effort to bring this incredible project to life; thank you for your dedication. To our players, coaches and staff, thank you for all your hard work and preparation; now comes the thrill! To our rugby communities and fans, thank you all for helping grow the sport of rugby.”
Glendale Raptors, Mark Bullock – Director of Rugby/General Manager
“Following two years of challenging background work to lay the foundation for MLR, we finally get to see the fruits of our labor. It is better than we can imagine.”
Houston SaberCats, Jeremy Turner – Co-Founder
“Years of diligent work by scores of individuals across the country is finally coming to fruition and SaberCats side can’t wait for Saturday to arrive. The effort has been tremendous on all fronts, from the players and coaches grinding it out day-after-day to staff at the team and League levels to the fans that have enthusiastically come out to show their support. We fully expect the quality of play will be awesome and the excitement will build across the MLR Season. Join the #ROAR. Go Cats Go!!!”
NOLA Gold, Tim Falcon – Owner
“NOLA Gold Rugby are honored to be in that number of founding members of Major League Rugby. After more than forty years of amateur rugby in New Orleans, NOLA Gold are proud to carry the winning tradition forward into the professional era. As one of the world’s great destination cities and states, New Orleans and Louisiana are ready to welcome rugby enthusiasts from all of the wonderful rugby nations. Beinvenue a NOLA and Geaux Gold!”
San Diego Legion, Matt Hawkins – General Manager
“San Diego Legion is excited and ready to kick off the inaugural season of Major League Rugby. In the last few months, we’ve been preparing for this moment by building a winning team made up of high-profile rugby players and star athletes from the United States and internationally. The team is very excited to have the championships in America’s finest city this summer and the great potential for us to be a part of the final games. We look forward to seeing our fans during this weekend’s opening match against Seattle!”
Seattle Seawolves, Shane Skinner – Co-Founder & Director
”I couldn’t be more excited for this historic weekend. We will host the first professional rugby match in the history of the Pacific Northwest to a sold out crowd of thousands of supporters on Sunday. This couldn’t have been done without a great team of dedicated, passionate and hard working individuals both on and off the field.”
Utah Warriors, Kimball Kjar – General Manager
“Years from now people will be looking back on this opening weekend of Major League Rugby as the notable inflection point that would fuel American Rugby’s emergence on to the world stage. Those may seem like very heady words but the commercial and athletic potentials of the American sports market, as they pertain to rugby, will only be realized with a smart and scalable business approach to professional rugby like the MLR.”
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MLR is a professional rugby league that will launch in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR will be the pinnacle of the American rugby, and provide a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes.
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