Denver Gets Fifth Team Nod, 12 Game Schedule
-By Liam Madigan-Fried
At long last, professional rugby has come to the United States. The Professional Rugby Organization (PRO), is the first club rugby league based here in the U.S to be sanctioned by both World Rugby and USA Rugby respectively.
In its first year, the league will feature five teams. The host cities were being announced on an ongoing basis for several months now, and were revealed to be from the cities of Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Obetz, Ohio, and the most recently revealed city of Denver. The club names of each team have yet to be revealed.
With this inaugural year, they plan to have each team play a total of 12 matches between the months of April and July, with the entire month of June acting as an ‘International Play’ break, much like the Olympic break taken by the NHL.
The highest paid U.S based players of the league are expected to make upwards of $20,000 per year on some contracts, whereas some international players can expect to get contracts in the $40,000 range. In order to fill out teams and maximize the amount of talent available, PRO Rugby will be reaching into the talent pool of the many club leagues around the country.
The USA Rugby sanctioned club leagues will be acting like a minor league of sorts where young players can develop their skills, much like what we see in the MLB, NHL and NBA. Depending on performance and needs, teams will be able to pick players up as the season goes along, as well as send them back down.
Though no word yet as to whether there will be any kind of NFL style ‘draft’ for college players, what we do know is that there will be open combines around the country where rugby players from all over can showcase their skills in an attempt to fulfill their dreams of playing professional rugby. PRO Rugby will be running the combines in conjunction with Tiger Rugby, which according to their website is “an approved USA Rugby National Development Academy.”
Unfortunately for Rugby fans, you won’t be able to tune to ESPN on your television to watch matches (at least for this season). However, fans will be able to live stream matches online when the season kicks off April 17th.
Check back here at Penguin Tundra Sports as the season approaches for more news and analysis for what this season has to bring.
Connect With Us on Facebook and Twitter!
Penguin Tundra Sports Blog was created in 2016 by a very bored college student who was obsessed with Rugby and Football. That same college student knew how to write pseudo-intelligently, so what better way to show off than to create a blog. Along your journey though the Tundra's domain, you may come across outlandish opinions, horrible spelling errors, and some shit that is just outright wrong. Well then, you should comment, give my blog more attention, and we will have our day in internet court. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy talking about sports as much as I do.
Logo Typography Credit: PhotoBucket