Discussion in 'Tier Two & Three Rugby' started by ratsapprentice, Oct 15, 2015.
That would be great for North American rugby in general..finger crossed
The name and logo are supposedly placeholders.
And so it begins.
The news American rugby union fans have been waiting for is finally out -- there will be a professional league in the United States.
While some details are still being finalised, starting in April 2016 six teams will compete in the Professional Rugby Organization -- shortened to PRO Rugby -- while in 2017 the league will expand to include Canadian teams to make this an inclusive North American competition.
A local television broadcast is unlikely at the outset, but fans will be able to stream games live online. USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville explained: "Major League Soccer didn't have a [television] contract for many years, but it's something that's an important part of the puzzle.
"You have to build from the ground up. There's a world to get this started, everyone's keen to get onboard and help and start building the competition in the sport, and I think we'll have great success."
Competing teams will be brand new, meaning there won't be any affiliation with any of the elite clubs currently playing in the U.S. However, players will be able to move between their club and professional teams. "People in charge of the league are very keen to make sure the amateur clubs and the professional clubs work hand-in-hand in every locale that they set up," Melville said.
In terms of who will play in the new league, there is a core group of players that organisers already have their eye on. "Each team will be comprised of five international, non-North American players, then there will be Canadian and American pool players," PRO Rugby CEO Doug Schoninger said.
"The pool players, we will select from our knowledge base. We're obviously working very closely with USA Rugby to identify players we would want, and we'll see if they're available. And then, with the club players, we're going to be working very locally as well."
There is plenty of reason for optimism around the league, with rugby the fastest growing team sport in America and PRO Rugby offering an interesting alternative for the country's sports fans.
"We're very much trying to promote the team aspect of the sport, and how that works into cooperation and respect, and all that is inherent in rugby. [That aspect] is kind of disappearing from team sports in America a little bit," said Schoninger, pointing to the fantasy leagues and obsession over individual statistics that's seen in major American sports today.
From USA Rugby's perspective, the goal is to further develop their national teams to be able to compete with countries that already have full-time professional leagues. The theory being that a strong professional league will breed a strong national team, which will in turn increase the sport's exposure in the States -- prompting more elite athletes to turn to rugby.
Young rugby players will see their favourite stars, players like Carlin Isles, Perry Baker and Danny Barrett -- names who have already brought commercial success to American rugby -- and in turn want to be like them.
"If you're a young kid playing rugby, it gives a pathway to be a professional, and that helps every level," Melville said. "It helps the collegiate level because we're looking at colleges to see the next cast of players coming into the league. It makes it inspirational for the young players, and that will be a game changer for us. It's exciting, and we hope [the fans] will get behind it."
I understand the plan is to start with six teams with three on the East Coast, One in the Rockies (probably Denver) and two in San Francisco.
Canadian teams are reported to be joining in 2017 (Most likely Vancouver and Toronto). Teams will have 30 man rosters and both Canadian and American players will be treated as domestic players in the league and teams will be allowed 5 imports on the 30 man roster.
great news, a bit hard to get behind someone that doesn't have a "face", would be good if they had things like team names / catchment areas and a logo before announcing it
No team names, no logo, not even franchise regions. I really hope it will work, but it seems to me it wasnÂ´t very well planned.
They messed up starting football two teams already (including "Arena Football" or what that has been called) - so I do not have a good feeling here, too.
Usually, they are very professional in pro sports, but no logos, no names, no teams "officially" announced, six month before kicking off - strange way to go public with.
Totally agree, there is no denying about the professionalism of americans when it comes to pro sports, but the way they are doing about rugby seems that everything is been done in a rush, I hope it wonÂ´t end up after the first season just because some suits screwed up things
I actually feel the opposite. They're supposed to release locations, venues and coaches this week. As long as they do that they are much farther than the last few efforts. They also have the blessing of USAR, including an announcement on USAR's website. http://usarugby.org/club-news/item/pro-rugby
Their talk of working with existing rugby structures also comes across a lot better that the ways some other groups went about things. Their plan of allowing some overseas players but using a majority of domestic players is a good compromise. There are already plans for Canadian teams to come on board next year.
2016 is soon yes. We will see very quickly if this gets off the ground. But hopefully they did a lot of homework before going public, and have everything in place for this to happen.
I hope you are right, it will be really nice to have a competitive and professional north-american (Canada included) league. It would also help to improve the game at the whole continent
Excellent stuff! Really looking forward to seeing what the USA will be producing, in terms of quality.
Sacramento and San Francisco are the first 2 cities confirmed to compete at the Pro Rugby.
Still pretty strange way to advertise the whole thing, though.
If you compare it to the MLS kickoff, this Rugby pro league seems to be done pretty heartless.
They release not much information, no updates on their social media etc.
I've got to admit, I expected more from them. I'm really curious about the whole thing.
Pro League currently looking for headcoaches on Facebook.
Yes. That looks very "pro" to me, indeed...
How cringey are some of the applications going to be.
Surprisingly decent recruitment tool Facebook, so wouldn't judge too much just yet!
I agree with pretty much all you have said; I can understand the rush for 2016 too, as they'll want to maximise the spin off exposure of the Olympic Sevens ... this should be great for Rugby in North America, as it provides a viable alternative to playing in the UK/Europe or getting a Sevens contract to make a living playing rugby, and should strengthen the player strength domestically in the years to come.
The big questions for me is how much money is involved for player recruitment, and how long is the season.
I'd imagine that they will advertise using other avenues as well, plus they'll be a fair amount of head hunting as the various teams and locations become confirmed; advertising on a FB page dedicated to rugby seems pretty smart to me.
Sorry, but I am "just" a Rugby fan. So looking for a coach on Facebook looked somewhat inappropriate to me.
But it was probably wrong to compare this league to NBA, NHL etc.
But still looks a little bit half-hearted and inexpert to me.
Separate names with a comma.