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Major League Rugby
Discussion started by leemingtyke (IP Logged), 10 February, 2020 19:44
MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
10 February, 2020 19:44
Completely aware that I could be very late to the party on this one, but today (thanks to a chance encounter with a Tweet from Gary Gold), Twitter taught me that Major League Rugby exists in the US.

It caught my interest because he tweeted from a game in San Diego, a city I was fortunate enough to visit a couple of years ago and liked very much.

A bit more investigation once home from work revealed that there are a couple of big names playing their rugby out there, namely Ma'a Nonu & The Beast (Tendai Mtawarira, not the Leeds version Mo Mustafa! ).

It also turned up this story on how the league runs according to the typical US model of Eastern and Western Conferences leading to Championship games and no relegation to allow for growth. It wonders aloud if there is anything the European game can learn from the US model.

[www.theguardian.com]

I wondered if our very own US prop Mike Macdonald was involved in any way but it seems he's a coach at the University of California. Anyway, I intend to follow the leagues progress and, as it caught my interest, I just thought I'd post it to see if anyone else wasn't aware.

leeds exile
leeds exile
10 February, 2020 20:00
It has been suggested that Chris Robshaw might play there next season as he is leaving Harlequins.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
10 February, 2020 20:12
Getting to play your rugby in that West Coast sunshine, I bloody would!

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
11 February, 2020 09:10
The way professional sports work in the US is very different to what we see in Europe, especially England.
Here we are used to the promotion/relegation model of the round ball game that dominates in both active and spectator participation. It is only natural that we should copy and hope some of the same financial rewards rub off.
Could we get used to a system where young players are "drafted" into clubs by the league management and where bottom clubs get first pick? Or where franchise owners move the team to a new town because the old town would not provide or build them a good enough stadium?
I doubt it. Perhaps the USA system works because the huge distances between teams mean few away fans?
Also remember that most top tier leagues in the internatioal rugby union world are actually franchises but based on a regional system, think Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Japan.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
17 February, 2020 13:27
The second week of MLR action took place in the form of the 'MLR Vegas Weekend'.

Seems to be very similar to Super Leagues 'Magic Weekend' although there seems to have been a proof-of-concept game played at the venue last weekend!

Results were:

New England Freejacks 34 - 39 Utah Warriors
Austin Gilgronis 31 - 39 Rugby United New York
Houston Saber Cats 22 - 27 Toronto Arrows
Colorado Raptors 22 - 48 San Diego Legion

Games took place at the Sam Boyd stadium in Vegas - that'd be a hell of an away day!

Two things I don't understand:

1. What a 'Gilgroni' is!
2. Why there's an Eastern and a Western Conference, but they have teams from the East playing teams from the West in the regular season.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
17 February, 2020 22:35
Deleted cos I couldn't get an image to work and cant be arsed to faff with it!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/02/2020 22:42 by leemingtyke.

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
18 February, 2020 08:50
Given the hugh salaries and popularity of American Football, do you think that rugby players in the USA are regarded as players not good enough for the national game?

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
18 February, 2020 21:09
I don't know to be honest Almo, if you look at some of the team sheets there are a good few names that look like they originated in traditional rugby nations interspersed with the Americans.

Thinking about it, I don't see too many similarities between Rugby and American football. Other than the obvious physical element I think they're quite different sports so I don't know if it follows that if you don't make the cut in AF you can have a career in rugby.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
19 February, 2020 21:41
They like to run with it!

[twitter.com]

Grybz
Grybz
21 February, 2020 21:54
I believe one of the issues with American football is that there is no amateur game and no second tier. If you don’t make the grade for either a college team or a major league team there is nothing left for you in the sport. Schools players who can’t get into a college squad effectively have to give up the game, so they either went into athletics or started to gravitate towards rugby. Once the college players leave if they don’t get drafted into an NFL team that’s the end of the line so they have a pool of potential players to choose from. The problem they have is getting them to pick the more technical aspects of the game up as they come into it late, although their sevens squad has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
21 February, 2020 22:40
Very good insight that Grybz and I guess that's something you'd think the RFU should consider before they pull the funding to the Championship. I saw a tweet from a Premiership, and former Championship, player voicing his concern that the funding cut could make Rugby "more private school dominated than it already is". Lots of second and third order effects that should be considered.

Anyway, back on topic.

I was fortunate enough to see the USA 7s team in Dubai in 2018 where, if memory serves, they made the final.

Looking at that top 5 tries video from the last round it seems a lot of the 7s style has transferred to MLR.


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