Washington Dc announced this Tuesday the attention of joining Major League Rugby by the time of 2020. The selection of the D.C. Rugby Team is still in process but is lined with various picks. They have also been previously linked with plans for Pro14 Team based in the US.
MLR is featuring seven pro rugby teams from both west and south states and even has completed the fourth round of the first season. The Denver based Glendale Raptors are in a lead to Seattle Seawolves and the San Diego Legion. The games will be broadcasted by CBS and ESPN over 12 weeks and there is a championship game falling on 7th of July.
Another team, eighth in line, Rugby United New York is due in 2019 to enter MLR has played several exhibition games in April. Ontario and Dallas Teams are still in the building process and a Los Angeles team is almost complete as compared to the developments in Boston and Vancouver according to the sources.
Chris Dunlavey, the partner in the Washington-based programme management firm Brailsford & Dunlavey and chairman of DCMLR, said in a statement: “We’re extremely excited at the prospect of bringing professional rugby to DC. Our experience, our network, our intuition and our market research all tell us the same thing: there is a big appetite for rugby in the DC region, with more than 190 active clubs featuring over 7,500 players. That’s a lot of potential supporters for this team. If professional rugby can work anywhere in the US, it can work in DC.”
It is expected that like that of Los Angeles the D.C. MLR Team can also play games in 2019 but would not be fully ready for the competitive plays until the succeeding year.
Dunlavey who is the primary aspect of the Washington Irish Club is joined by Paul Sheehy in D.C. MLR ownership. Paul Sheehy was the strong back leading US Eagles back in the time of 1991 World Cup, now runs a car dealership store namely “Sheehy Auto Stores” and also coaches at a High School.
Sheehy has been reported to being extensively involved in moves of North America by Pro14. The Pro14 has not hinted on Washington’s Plans of joining MLR just yet.
The US Capital has also hosted the South African Nation Team on June 2nd, the time when the Springboks played Wales at RFK Stadium.
Dunlavey said he expected the game to “help us get the word out in the rugby and local community and start to generate momentum for MLR”.
“We are planning a lot of activities around that match to get people excited,” he said. “We’re even thinking about giving the fans the opportunity to help us name our team.”
DCMLR said it was “working to finalize the location of the team’s home games”.
Dean Howes, the commissioner of MLR, said: “We think Washington DC will be an exciting and growing market for us. With New York committed and now DC coming on board, we can envision a robust rivalry blossoming between those two clubs.
“As important, having these professional teams in major east coast cities shows all of the young players in this part of the country that there is a future for them in our sport.”