by Brendan Kyle Jure
SALT LAKE CITY – The long-awaited Major League Rugby has announced that it will begin play in 2018 with nine teams across the continental U.S. in a media release.
“By drawing on the best domestic talent MLR will create an intense, fast paced competition and a top-tier media product,” the release states.
The teams will be located in Glendale Colo., Kansas City, Dallas, Houston, Austin, New Orleans, Seattle, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.
Unlike PRO Rugby, MLR’s member teams are all owned by themselves but are not sanctioned by USA Rugby. Some of teams have direct links to already established clubs such as the Glendale Raptors, Seattle Saracens and the Austin Huns.
“MLR will announce a final team and venue list, player contact information and 2018 schedule in the coming months,” the release reads.
Expansion is planned beyond 2018’s season.
Its current headquarters are in Salt Lake City and houses Commissioner Dean Howes and Deputy Commissioner Nick Benson. Howes is a former partner in the New York City-based sports, entertainment and media company, SCP Worldwide. SCP Worldwide were managing partners in the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues franchise as well as owning Major League Soccer franchise, Real Salt Lake.