Inaugural USA Professional Rugby Union League Launches
USA ANNOUNCES ITS OWN DOMESTIC RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
For the very first time, North American rugby union fans and players will have their own professional rugby Union league, the Professional Rugby Organization (PRO Rugby).
Exclusively sanctioned by USA Rugby and World Rugby, competition will begin in April 2016 with six teams in major metropolitan areas in the Northeast, the Rocky Mountains and California.
USA Rugby Chairman Bob Latham commented "As the fastest growing team sport in the USA, it is the time to have a sanctioned professional competition. We are very happy to partner with PRO Rugby in taking this step to popularize the game, to inspire Americans to fall in love with rugby and to show the rugby world what American players can do."
“A lot of people feel pro sports used to be a positive influence - it built character and provided role models, but not so much anymore. I believe that by adhering to rugby's core beliefs, we can reclaim those lost sporting values and provide opportunity for a new generation of North American rugby players."
2017 will see the addition of Canadian-based teams into the Competition.
Rugby is a natural fit for the USA. Interest in the sport is at an all-time high and the demand for a professional competition is clear.
The structure of the competition will be as follows.
In its inaugural year, the PRO Rugby 2016 season will feature 10 games per club and run from April - July in medium-size venues, allowing fans to connect with their teams and build the sense of camaraderie and loyalty that the game is associated with. The plan is to develop existing rugby communities to provide a pathway for local players into the professional ranks.
Once PRO Rugby has been established US and Canadian players will be able to train year round and play in elite competition, something that has been sorely missing from rugby development in North America up until now.
With the completion of the record-breaking 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and the reintroduction of the sport into the 2016 Rio Olympics, it was felt now was the time to launch.
Visit www.PRORugby.org for more details
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