In news that will delight all rugby fans, New York’s rugby club will compete in the Major League in 2019.
The League is preparing for its inaugural season in 2018 and it has just announced that others will join it for 2019. New York, Toronto and Vancouver will play next year, whilst Boston, Chicago, Washington DC and Philly are understood to also be considering on entering.
Pretty stoked about the first season on Major League Rugby in the US!! pic.twitter.com/1VlO5dR2sM— Bixby Rugby Club (@BixbyRFC) November 8, 2017
The Big Apple is home to several rugby clubs with the New York Rugby Club probably the most prominent. It was founded in 1929 and over the generations has been served by waves of hardy Irish emigrants eager to play the sport they love.
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The final team for the Major League will draw on members from clubs across the city and will be chaired by Irishman James Kennedy - who moved to America 19 years ago.
Speaking to Rugby Today he said: “Now, we are signed and on board. We got brought in about a month ago in a board meeting down in Houston. We are playing in 2019. I asked for a year to build a team out of all the clubs in New York. We are board members and part of the MLR.”
Rugby has never been popular in America in the same way that it is in other traditional epicenters of Irish emigration, like Australia. In comparison to billionaire dollar baseball and football industry in the US, it seems almost as amateurish as the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ireland does.
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However Kennedy is confident rugby in New York has a bright future.
“My dream is that you have a Division I in the New York area. With the population of eight million people and the number of expats and colleges, I don’t see that as a problem. The number of colleges pumping out better players year in and year out is astonishing. There is no reason we can’t continue to grow the game.”
H/T: Rugby Today