Rugby News

Rugby-MLR to kick off new season in March with expansion teams

Sept 23 (Reuters) - The fourth season of Major League Rugby (MLR) will kick off on March 20 next year with 13 teams, including expansion sides Dallas Jackals and Los Angeles Giltinis.

The 16 regular season games will be followed by the playoffs contested over two weeks, with the Championship Final scheduled for Aug. 1.

“We are looking forward to Major League Rugby’s fourth season being a powerful return for professional rugby in North America,” MLR Commissioner George Killebrew said in a statement.

“We’re confident that this season is going to be groundbreaking for MLR with the expansion to 13 teams and plans to ramp up the fan experience like never before.”

MLR cancelled much of its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the team in Colorado disbanded.

Kanaloa Hawaii, a team backed by a group of former All Blacks of Pacific Island heritage, were given provisional approval in July to join the MLR next year but withdrew after an “exclusive negotiating agreement” with the league expired. (Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )