Major League Rugby
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2024 Major League Rugby season
SportRugby union
Founded2017
Inaugural season2018
CommissionerNic Benson[1]
No. of teams12 (as of 2024 season)
Countries United States
(12 teams)
HeadquartersDallas, Texas, United States
ConfederationRAN
Most recent
champion(s)
New England Free Jacks
(1st title)
Most titlesSeattle Seawolves
(2 titles)
TV partner(s)
Official websitewww.majorleague.rugby Edit this at Wikidata

Major League Rugby (MLR or USMLR) is a professional rugby union competition for clubs in North America. In the 2023 season it was contested by twelve teams: eleven from the United States and one from Canada.[2] While operating outside of the governance and oversight of the national governing body, the league is officially sanctioned by USA Rugby—a member union of Rugby Americas North (RAN)—and is consequently part of World Rugby. The league was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

MLR began its first season in 2018 with seven teams. The league has since expanded, reaching an all-time high of 13 teams in the 2022 season.[3] Twelve teams are expected to compete in the 2024 season.

Major League Rugby implemented its first collegiate MLR Draft in 2020.[4][5][6] Also in 2020, Major League Rugby teams started forming youth academies.[7][8]

History

Founding

See also: History of rugby union in the United States

In September 2016, with at least five amateur rugby union clubs across the United States discussing a possible professional league, Dean Howes,[9] who had previously been an executive with Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, stepped in as senior strategic advisor for Rugby Utah in an attempt to provide a pathway for expanding professional rugby stateside.[10]

By February 2017, a total of nine amateur rugby union organizations including the Austin Huns, Dallas Griffins, Glendale Raptors, Houston Strikers, Kansas City Blues, Minneapolis, New Orleans RFC, Rugby Utah and the Seattle Saracens, announced their intentions to form a professional league to begin play the following year.[11][12]

On August 15, 2017, the Austin Huns announced that it would opt-out of MLR in favor of allowing a newly branded spinoff, the Austin Elite compete in the league.[13] The Houston Strikers rebranded themselves as the Houston SaberCats. Whereas the elite players of New Orleans, Utah, and Seattle became the New Orleans Gold, Utah Warriors, and Seattle Seawolves respectively, interests in Minneapolis were replaced by the San Diego Legion.[14] With Kansas City and Dallas still in planning stages, the league continued as seven members for its inaugural season.[15]

On November 6, 2017, Major League Rugby and CBS Sports Network announced a multi-year television partnership which marked MLR's first major television deal for broadcast rights.[16] It was the first time in American history that a new sporting league had a national television deal prior to launch.[17]

Early seasons and rapid expansion

The first regular-season game in Major League Rugby history was held on April 21, 2018, when the Houston SaberCats hosted the New Orleans Gold. The final was contested between the Seattle Seawolves and the Colorado Raptors, with the Seawolves winning 23-19 to become the inaugural champions.

In addition to Rugby United New York, the Toronto Arrows joined the league ahead of 2019 season as the first Canadian team in MLR. Three further American clubs began play in 2020: the New England Free Jacks, Old Glory DC, and Rugby ATL.[18] With the opening of SaberCats Stadium as Houston's permanent stadium in April 2019, MLR gained its first stadium that was specifically built for league play.

Later in April, RUNY announced the signing of French international Mathieu Bastareaud on a loan deal from Toulon for the 2020 season.[19] In October 2019, another major signing was made when it was announced that All Blacks international and multiple World Cup winner Ma'a Nonu would join the San Diego Legion for the 2020 season.[20] The following December saw another World Cup winner sign with the league, namely South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira with Old Glory DC.[21]

On March 12, 2020, MLR initially suspended its 2020 season for 30 days due to the coronavirus pandemic[22] but then cancelled the remainder of the entire season on March 18, after five rounds had been played.[23]

The LA Giltinis began competition in the 2021 season, followed by the Dallas Jackals, who entered in the 2022 season.[24][25][26]

At the end of the 2022 regular seasonn, MLR announced that the Giltinis and the Gilgronis—both owned by Adam Gilchrist, co-founder of F45 Training—were disqualified from the playoffs due to a violation of league rules, allegedly including salary cap issues.[27] At the time of their disqualification, the Giltinis and Gilgronis were ranked first and second in the western conference. Gilchrist filed suit against the league and the two teams were expelled from the league in October following a failed attempt to sell both teams.[28]

The Chicago Hounds began competition in the 2023 season.[29][30]

On February 8, 2023, Major League Rugby announced that the Miami Sharks will join the competition for the 2024 season.[31]

Following the 2023 season, Rugby ATL relocated from Atlanta to Los Angeles and rebranded as Rugby FC Los Angeles.[32][33][34]

In November 2023, the Toronto Arrows announced they would cease all operations following the death of founder Bill Webb and a failure to secure new investors.[35][36] A week later, the New York Ironworkers announced they would also fold.[37]

In January 19, 2024, the league announced the creation of Anthem Rugby Carolina for the 2024 season.[38] The team will serve as development team for US-eligible players, based upon the USA Hawks Under-23 men's development side. The team is financially supported by World Rugby, and unlike the other teams, its primary purpose will be to develop US-eligible players, in order to help qualify for the 2027 Rugby World Cup, and improve the USA Eagles as a competitive entity, before the USA-hosted 2031 Rugby World Cup.[39]

Competition format

Major League Rugby spans five months from Late February through to Early July. The 2019 regular season was a double round-robin with all clubs playing each other home and away.[18] Each team played sixteen games, half of them at home. This was followed by a postseason for the top four teams consisting of two semi-final matches and the Championship Game to determine the season's MLR champion team.[40]

Since the 2020 season, MLR used a conference format.[41] Both conferences, the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, consisted of six teams (seven teams took part in the 2022 Western Conference). Each team playe a double round-robin within their conference, home and away, in addition to playing six games against teams from the other conference, for a total of 16 regular-season games.[42]

The postseason consists of the top three teams from each conference: a wildcard game between the second and third ranked teams, followed by a playoff game between the wildcard winner and the first ranked team in the conference. The resulting playoff winners from each conference then face off in the championship final.

The league is structured as a closed system and, similar to other American sports leagues, does not have promotion and relegation.[43] It operates as a single entity similar to Major League Soccer, with each team or "franchise" owned by the league and the franchise operators owning a share of the league.[44]

Teams

Map

Major League Rugby is located in the United States
Nuevo León (2025)
Nuevo León (2025)
Locations of teams for the 2024 Major League Rugby season
          Current Teams
          Future Teams

2024 teams

The 2024 season is the first featuring the Miami Sharks, Anthem RC, and RFC Los Angeles. The other teams contesting the season are the Chicago Hounds, the Dallas Jackals, the Houston SaberCats, NOLA Gold, Old Glory DC, the New England Free Jacks, the San Diego Legion, the Seattle Seawolves, and the Utah Warriors.[45][46]

Club Location Stadium Capacity Joined Coach Broadcasters
Anthem Rugby Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina American Legion Memorial Stadium 10,500 2024; 0 years ago (2024) New Zealand Alama Ieremia TBA
Chicago Hounds Bridgeview, Illinois SeatGeek Stadium 20,000 2023; 1 year ago (2023) Australia Sam Harris Marquee Sports Network
Dallas Jackals Arlington, Texas Choctaw Stadium 48,000 2022; 2 years ago (2022) Argentina Agustin Cavalieri KTXA
Houston SaberCats Houston, Texas SaberCats Stadium 4,000 2018; 6 years ago (2018) South Africa Pote Human Space City Home Network
Miami Sharks Fort Lauderdale, Florida AutoNation Sports Field 5,000 2024; 0 years ago (2024) Argentina José Pellicena TBA
New England Free Jacks Quincy, Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Stadium 5,000 2020; 4 years ago (2020)[47] South Africa Scott Mathie NBC Sports Boston
New Orleans Gold Metairie, Louisiana Gold Mine[a] 10,000 2018; 6 years ago (2018) New Zealand Cory Brown YurView Louisiana
Old Glory DC Boyds, Maryland Maryland SoccerPlex 5,000 2020; 4 years ago (2020)[49] Scotland Simon Cross Univision DC
Monumental Sports Network
Rugby Football Club Los Angeles Carson, California Dignity Health Sports Park 27,000 2020; 4 years ago (2020) New Zealand Stephen Brett TBA
San Diego Legion San Diego, California Snapdragon Stadium[b] 35,000 2018; 6 years ago (2018) New Zealand Danny Lee[51] FOX 5 San Diego
Seattle Seawolves Tukwila, Washington Starfire Stadium[c] 4,500 2018; 6 years ago (2018) Ireland Allen Clarke Univision Seattle
Root Sports Northwest
Utah Warriors Herriman, Utah Zions Bank Stadium[d] 5,000 2018; 6 years ago (2018) New Zealand Greg Cooper KMYU
  1. ^ The Gold Mine is in Metairie, Louisiana, a census-designated place in the New Orleans metropolitan area.[48]
  2. ^ Snapdragon Stadium is located on the campus of San Diego State University at SDSU Mission Valley.[50]
  3. ^ Starfire Stadium is in the Seattle suburb of Tukwila, Washington.[52]
  4. ^ Zions Bank Stadium is in Herriman, Utah, located within the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.[53]

Timeline

Anthem Rugby CarolinaMiami Sharks (rugby union)Chicago Hounds (rugby union)Dallas JackalsLA GiltinisRFC Los AngelesRugby ATLOld Glory DCNew England Free JacksToronto ArrowsRugby New YorkRugby United NYNOLA GoldUtah WarriorsSeattle SeawolvesSan Diego LegionHouston SaberCatsColorado RaptorsGlendale RaptorsAustin GilgronisAustin Elite

Future teams

The expansion franchise fee is US$4 million as of 2019.[54]

Team Location Stadium Joining
Nuevo León Monterrey, Nuevo León TBD 2025[55]

Former teams

Team Location Stadium Joined Left
Colorado Raptors Glendale, Colorado Infinity Park 2018 2020
LA Giltinis Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 2021 2022
Austin Gilgronis Austin, Texas Bold Stadium 2018 2022
Toronto Arrows Toronto, Ontario York Lions Stadium 2019 2023
Rugby New York New York, New York Mount Vernon Memorial Field 2019 2023

On April 9, 2020, the Colorado Raptors announced that they would withdraw from Major League Rugby after three seasons in the league, effective May 2, 2020,[56] the first team to do so. Their announcement explained their withdrawal by saying that "our greater responsibility lies in the development of American players who can win the World Cup for the United States."[56] Asked to explain how withdrawing from the league would help to develop American rugby players, the Raptors referred the question to Glendale City Manager Linda Cassaday, who said on April 10, 2020, that MLR had been founded with a core mission of developing American rugby players and originally had limited teams to three foreign players, although this expanded to five players before the first season began in 2018.[56] MLR had expanded from seven teams in 2018 to 12 in 2020 without having enough American players to fill out rosters and had raised the ceiling on foreign players to 10 per team.[56] The Raptors believed that both this overall number of foreign players and the higher proportion of foreign to American players no longer best served the goal of developing American players who could compete successfully in the Rugby World Cup, and therefore chose to withdraw from the league to better focus their efforts on the development of American players who could compete on an international stage.[56]

On October 25, 2022, Major League Rugby announced that 12 teams would compete in the 2023 season, but that neither the Austin Gilgronis, nor the LA Giltinis will participate. With the uncertainties surrounding Austin and Los Angeles' team ownership, it was determined to suspend operations of the two teams to ensure a successful 2023 season, and protect the long-term strength and continued growth of the league.[57]

On November 27, 2023, Major League Rugby announced that the Toronto Arrows would cease all operations, and not compete in the 2024 season.[35] The Arrows had sought new funding following the death of their CEO, Bill Webb, but were unable to guarantee the new backers in time.[36]

In December 2023, Major League Rugby announced that the New York Ironworkers were withdrawing ahead of the 2024 season.[37]

Champions

By year

Year Teams Champion Score Runner-up
2018 7 Seattle Seawolves 23–19 Glendale Raptors
2019 9 Seattle Seawolves 26–23 San Diego Legion
2020 12 Canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 12 LA Giltinis 31–17 Rugby ATL
2022 13 Rugby New York 30–15 Seattle Seawolves
2023 12 New England Free Jacks 25–24 San Diego Legion

By team

Club MLR Shields Year(s) Won Conf champs Year(s) Won Playoff apps Year(s) Total seasons
Seattle Seawolves 2 2018, 2019 1 2022 4 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023 6
Rugby New York 1 2022 1 2022 4 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023 5
New England Free Jacks 1 2023 1 2023 2 2022, 2023 4
LA Giltinis 1 2021 1 2021 1 2021 2
San Diego Legion 0 - 1 2023 4 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023 6
Rugby ATL 0 - 1 2021 2 2021, 2022 4
Houston SaberCats 0 - 0 - 2 2022, 2023 6
Utah Warriors 0 - 0 - 2 2018, 2021 6
Toronto Arrows 0 - 0 - 1 2019 5
Old Glory DC 0 - 0 - 1 2023 4
Colorado Raptors[A] 0 - 0 - 1 2018 3
NOLA Gold 0 - 0 - 0 - 6
Austin Gilgronis[B] 0 - 0 - 0 - 5
Dallas Jackals 0 - 0 - 0 - 2
Chicago Hounds 0 - 0 - 0 - 1
† Franchise no longer competes in MLR

MLR rivalry cups

In Major League Rugby, several teams annually compete for secondary rivalry cups. Most cups are deliberately conceived as local derbies between teams in the same region.

Summary

Each win is counted as an official title. Only official MLR games are considered as official rivalry games unless an exhibition game is specifically marked as a Rivalry game. Several teams now participating in cups played matches before the creation of the cups.

Active

Rivalry name Most wins Titles Other club(s) Titles Recent winner
I-45 Feud Houston Sabercats 3 Dallas Jackals 0 Houston Sabercats
Dog Bowl Chicago Hounds 2 Dallas Jackals 0 Chicago Hounds
Coffee Cup New England Free Jacks 2 Seattle Seawolves 1 New England Free Jacks

Inactive

These Cups are currently listed as inactive, due to teams withdrawing from, or relocating within, Major League Rugby. Individual cups may return with new teams in the future.

Rivalry name Most wins Titles Other club(s) Titles Last winner
Texas Cup Austin Gilgronis 3 Houston SaberCats 0 Austin Gilgronis
Lone Star Champs Austin Gilgronis 1 Houston SaberCats
Dallas Jackals
0
0
Austin Gilgronis
Cali Cup LA Giltinis 2 San Diego Legion 1 San Diego Legion
Champagne Cup Rugby New York 1 LA Giltinis 1 LA Giltinis
Cuisine Solutions Cup Old Glory DC 2 Austin Gilgronis 1 Austin Gilgronis
Gillys Cup LA Giltinis 3 Austin Gilgronis 1 LA Giltinis
Fire and Ice Cup Rugby ATL 3 Toronto Arrows 0 Rugby ATL
Chowdah Cup New England Free Jacks 5 Rugby New York 1 New England Free Jacks

Players

Major League Rugby players include those drawn from North American clubs, as well as foreign signings. Although the original concept was to limit club to three foreign players, the limit grew to five before the start of the first season, before then being increased to ten. This increased allotment of foreign players led to some criticism that MLR was not providing enough opportunities for American players to develop.[58]

Awards

MLR season
Player of the Year Forward of the Year Back of the Year Coach of the Year Rookie of the Year S. Marcus Calloway Community Impact Award
2019
  • Not Awarded
  • Not Awarded
2021
  • Not Awarded
2022
2023
  • Josh Syms
  • Old Glory DC
  • Sam Golla
  • Dallas Jackals
MLR championship
MVP of the Championship Match
2018
2019

Apisai Naikatini
(MVP of Championship Series)
Seattle Seawolves
2021
2022
2023

Television coverage

Major League Rugby programming runs in prime weekend time slots on Saturday afternoons and Sunday evenings.[59] As of 2023, FOX Sports broadcasts select matches nationally on FS1 & FS2, including the Championship Final; all other matches are available to stream live and for free on The Rugby Network.[60][61]

The 2019 Championship game was broadcast on CBS, the first MLR game to be televised on free-to-air TV. It gained a 0.32 Sports TV rating which equated to 510,000 two-plus-person households.[62]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLR adjusted its 2020 season schedule and turned its attention to ensuring the league would rebound with a strong showing in 2021. Matches were televised on CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 2, among other national and local market platforms. The MLR Championship was broadcast on CBS on Sunday, August 1, 2021.[63]

For the 5th (2022) and 6th (2023) seasons of MLR competition, FOX Sports nationally broadcast select matches on FS1 and FS2.[64] FOX broadcast the 2022 Final between New York and Seattle, with an average audience figure of 281,000.[65] During the 2023 season, FOX Sports 1 broadcast three regular season matches, with average audience figures ranging between 53,000 and 147,000.[66] Fox Sports 2 broadcast one regular season match with an average audience of 36,000.[67]

Several teams have separate local rights agreements.

MLR Weekly presented by Rugby Wrap Up is a weekly Major League Rugby magazine show featuring weekly highlights, previews and interviews with players, coaches and rugby personalities. The show is broadcast on American TV including Cox Communication’s YurView Channel 4 in San Diego and Santa Barbara, and Channel 118 in Orange County and Palos Verdes, YurView California. YurView Arizona, YurView Vegas as well as Marquee Sports Network in Chicago.[72]

Previous television partners include AT&T, CBS, and ESPN. ESPN had the national and international rights to an 18-game package covering regular season matches to audiences across its various platforms for the 2018 season.[73] The CBS Sports Network televised select matches nationally during the 2019 season. This included a Game of the Week during each of the 10 rounds of the MLR regular season along with all three post-season matches.[40] Dan Power (Play By Play), Brian Hightower (Color Analyst) and Stacy Paetz (Sideline) were the CBS Sports commentators for the 2019 season.[74] The remaining games were available on ESPN properties and regional sports networks.[73] AT&T Sports Networks had a 17-game package covering six of the seven MLR teams for games not broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.[59] Home-and-away matches for Austin, Houston and New Orleans were carried on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. Seattle's matches were carried on Root Sports Northwest and all Colorado and Utah games were hosted on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.[59]

Finals TV ratings

Year TV Viewership Ratings Channel Stadium Attendance Ref.
2018 CBSSN 2,901 [75][76]
2019 510,000 0.32 CBS 6,000 [77][78][79]
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 478,000 0.28 CBS 7,389 [80][81]
2022 281,000 0.16 Fox 1,979 [82][83]
2023 269,000 0.2 Fox 10,103 [84][85]

Streaming

On March 16, 2021, MLR launched The Rugby Network.[86] It is a free streaming platform in conjunction with RugbyPass which streams MLR matches and highlights. This digital network provides rugby fans with a single destination to stream select MLR matches, international rugby matches, game highlights, and other content.[87]

MLR App

On March 17, 2021, MLR launched its official mobile app. This allows MLR fans to view MLR news, schedules, match scores, team profiles, statistics, and other video content. The app is part of a multi-platform deal with digital sport innovators PT SportSuite for MLR's digital media capabilities. The MLR app is available to download on iPhone App Store and Android Google Play.[88]

Attendance

Top attendances for Major League Rugby matches all time, from 2018 onward:

Rank Attend­ance Game Date Season Venue Location
1 11,423 San Diego Legion vs Utah Warriors
Week 1
February 18, 2023 2023 Snapdragon Stadium San Diego, CA[89]
2 10,103 San Diego Legion vs New England Free Jacks
Championship Final
July 8, 2023 2023 SeatGeek Stadium Chicago, IL[85][90]
3 9,186 Utah Warriors vs Glendale Raptors
Pre-season exhibition
March 30, 2018 2018 Rio Tinto Stadium Sandy, UT[91][92]
4 8,926 San Diego Legion vs New York Ironworkers
Week 15
May 28, 2023 2023 Snapdragon Stadium San Diego, CA[93]
5 7,389 Los Angeles Giltinis vs Rugby ATL
Championship Final
August 1, 2021 2021 Los Angeles Coliseum Los Angeles, CA[81]
6 6,000 San Diego Legion vs Seattle Seawolves
Championship Final
June 16, 2019 2019 Torero Stadium San Diego, CA[94]
7 4,880 Los Angeles Giltinis vs Utah Warriors
Week 9
May 15, 2021 2021 Sofi Stadium Los Angeles, CA[95]
8 4,758 New England Free Jacks vs Houston SaberCats
Week 18
June 18, 2023 2023 Veterans Memorial Stadium Quincy, MA[96]
9 4,560 Utah Warriors vs Rugby Atlanta
Week 15
May 27, 2023 2023 Zions Bank Stadium Herriman, UT[97]
10 4,500 San Diego Legion vs Rugby United New York
Semi-Final
June 9, 2019 2019 Torero Stadium San Diego, CA
4,500 Utah Warriors vs Rugby Atlanta
Week 17
July 11, 2021 2021 Zions Bank Stadium Herriman, UT[98]
4,500 Seattle Seawolves vs New York Ironworkers
Week 1
February 18, 2023 2023 Starfire Stadium Tukwila, WA[99]
4,500 Seattle Seawolves vs Chicago Hounds
Week 14
May 20, 2023 2023 Starfire Stadium Tukwila, WA[100]
4,500 Utah Warriors vs Houston Sabercats
Week 14
May 20, 2023 2023 Zions Bank Stadium Herriman, UT[101]

Attendance for the inaugural season was approximately 1,800 per match.[102] That average increased by about 300 per game in 2019 with an average of 2,133 per game and a total of 159,000 attendees.[102] George Killebrew reported that in 2022 an additional 70,000 tickets were sold compared to the 2021 season, with crowd averages remaining around 2,000 per game.[103]

Executives

Commissioner/CEO

Deputy Commissioner

Sponsorship

The Gem Garden in San Marcos, California, makes all MLR Championship rings, as of 2018.[106]

On October 28, 2019, Major League Rugby announced that, starting for the 2020 season, Paladin Sports will be the new supplier of all uniforms/kit for the league.[107] On November 1, 2023, MLR announced a 3-year partnership with Italian sportswear brand, Kappa, as the official kit partner of the league, beginning with the 2024 season.[108]

On January 2, 2020, MLR partnered with Rhino Rugby for the 2020 season. Rhino Rugby is the official ball and technical training equipment supplier for the 2020 MLR season. The Rhino Rugby "Vortex Elite" ball is the official MLR match ball for all 12 teams. The Vortex Elite is currently the official ball of Rugby Europe, and Asia Rugby, and has been used in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) the past several years[109]

In March 2021, American Airlines became MLR's official airline and travel partner.[110][111]

On February 23, 2023, MLR signed a partnership with OVAL3, the brand specializing in Web3 and fantasy rugby. OVAL3 will be the "Exclusive NFT Fantasy Game" of Major League Rugby. OVAL3 plans to provide "world-class immersive experiences" and Web 3.0 engagement to rugby's rapidly-growing North American fanbase.[112]

On October 6, 2023, MLR signed a partnership with Legends to lead sponsorship sales and commercial outreach.[113]

On November 1, 2023, MLR announced a three-year agreement with Italian sportswear manufacturer, Kappa, to provide match kits, training kits, and fanwear support to all MLR teams.[114]

Jersey sponsorships
Team Sponsor Manufacturer
Dallas Jackals None Kappa
Houston Sabercats None
Chicago Hounds None
New Orleans Gold Louisiana Office of Tourism
Rugby New York None
San Diego Legion Kings and Convicts Brewing
Seattle Seawolves WaFd Bank
Toronto Arrows Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation
Utah Warriors InterMountain Healthcare
New England Free Jacks Alloy Therapeutics
Old Glory DC Cuisine Solutions
Rugby ATL Barbour Orthopedics and Spine

See also

References

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Competed as Glendale Raptors in 2018 and 2019.
  2. ^ Competed as Austin Elite in 2018 and 2019.

Citations

  1. ^ a b "Major League Rugby Commissioner Killebrew Steps Down". Major League Rugby. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  2. ^ "Major League Rugby Releases 2023 Season Schedule". Major League Rugby. Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  3. ^ "Major League Rugby Releases 2022 Season Schedule". Major League Rugby. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  4. ^ "2020 MLR Collegiate Draft Summary". June 14, 2020.
  5. ^ "MLR Draft Picks 2020". Major League Rugby.
  6. ^ "2020 Major League Rugby Draft Application and Useful Athlete Info". USA Rugby. May 6, 2020.
  7. ^ "Glendale Announces 2021 Colorado XO Team". January 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "Utah Warriors Co-Founder to build Liberty Boys Academy - djcoilrugby". December 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "'We learned a lot': Major League Rugby commissioner Dean Howes sees success where others failed". www.sportspromedia.com. April 30, 2019.
  10. ^ "Dean Howes, Former Real Salt Lake CEO, Joins Rugby Utah" (Press release). Utah Rugby. August 24, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  11. ^ "Major League Rugby Coming in 2018". Americas Rugby News. February 13, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  12. ^ "Nine Teams Confirmed for Major League Rugby". Americas Rugby News. May 5, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  13. ^ "Austin Huns Opt Out of Inaugural MLR Season" (Press release). Austin Huns. August 15, 2017. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  14. ^ "San Diego Join as Major League Rugby Eyes Rapid Expansion". Americas Rugby News. September 21, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  15. ^ "Major League Rugby: All you need to know about U.S. rugby's newest competition". ESPN. April 30, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  16. ^ Bristol, Jason (November 13, 2017). "Houston, rugby has landed; to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network". KHOU-TV. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  17. ^ Hamilton, Tom (April 20, 2018). "Major League Rugby: Inside rugby's latest attempt to crack America". ESPN. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "MLR 2020: LEAGUE FORMAT". Major League Rugby. July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "France international Mathieu Bastareaud signs for Rugby United New York on loan deal". ESPN. April 30, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  20. ^ "Rugby star Ma'a Nonu of New Zealand joins San Diego team". KSWB-TV. October 9, 2019. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  21. ^ "Rugby World Cup winner Beast Mtawarira joins Major League Rugby club Old Glory DC". ESPN.com. Reuters. December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  22. ^ "MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY SUSPENDS 2020 SEASON FOR 30 DAYS". Major League Rugby. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
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  24. ^ "MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY OFFICIALLY WELCOMES THE LA GILTINIS". Major League Rugby. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  25. ^ "MLR Introduces the Dallas Jackals". Major League Rugby. June 5, 2020.
  26. ^ "Dallas Jackals move inaugural season to 2022". Major League Rugby. January 19, 2021.
  27. ^ Pengelly, Martin (June 7, 2022). "Major League Rugby in crisis as LA and Austin disqualified from playoffs". The Guardian. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  28. ^ Pengelly, Martin (October 26, 2022). "LA and Austin out of MLR as US rugby faces further uncertainty". The Guardian. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  29. ^ "Major League Rugby Officially Announces Expansion into Chicago".
  30. ^ "Major League Rugby Releases 2023 Season Schedule". Major League Rugby. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  31. ^ "Expansion Teams Headline Off-Season of Growth for Major League Rugby". Major League Rugby. Retrieved February 8, 2023.
  32. ^ "Major League Rugby's Atlanta Team to Relocate". Major League Rugby. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  33. ^ "Major League Rugby's Atlanta Team to Relocate". Major League Rugby. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  34. ^ "Major League Rugby Officially Announces Rugby FC Los Angeles for 2024". Major League Rugby. Retrieved December 25, 2023.
  35. ^ a b "Toronto Arrows to not compete in 2024 MLR Season". Major League Rugby.
  36. ^ a b "Toronto Arrows forced to fold after 5 seasons in MLR". Americas Rugby News. November 28, 2023.
  37. ^ a b Johnston, Patrick (December 6, 2023). "Rugby New York folding "tough to grapple with", as MLR loses another side". Rugby World. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  38. ^ "USA Rugby, Major League Rugby and World Rugby launch momentous partnership with new MLR expansion club | World Rugby". www.world.rugby. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
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  40. ^ a b "CBS Sports Network Partners with MLR". Major League Rugby (Press release). November 6, 2017. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  41. ^ "Major League Rugby to add three new teams in 2020". ESPN.com. April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
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  44. ^ a b "Major League Rugby nears kick-off as next attempt to make US a union power". The Guardian. UK. November 17, 2017. Archived from the original on November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  45. ^ "Major League Rugby unveils 2024 slate of matchups". Major League Rugby. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  46. ^ "MLR, World Rugby, USA Rugby forge historic partnership". Major League Rugby. January 19, 2024. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  47. ^ "Major League Rugby confirms Boston and Atlanta for 2020". Americas Rugby News. September 21, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
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