For the first time, North American rugby union fans and players will have a professional league, the Professional Rugby Organization (PRO Rugby) announced today. Exclusively sanctioned by USA Rugby and World Rugby, competition will begin in April 2016 with six teams in major metropolitan areas in the Northeast, the Rocky Mountains and California. Venues and coaches will be announced starting this week with playing rosters to follow.
USA Rugby Chairman Bob Latham added, “As the fastest growing team sport in the USA, it is the time to have a sanctioned professional competition. We are very happy to partner with PRO Rugby in taking this step to popularize the game, to inspire Americans to fall in love with rugby, and to show the rugby world what American players can do.” 2017 will see the addition of Canadian-based teams, with Jim Dixon -GM Rugby Operations and Performance commenting, “Rugby Canada looks forward to working with Pro Rugby on sanctioning the competition in Canada for the 2017 season and beyond.”