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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Austin Huns Announce Racing 92 Partnership


The Austin Huns are the latest U.S. club to announce a partnership with an overseas team. The Huns have joined up with Paris-based Top 14 side Racing 92. The move comes as part of the team's drive for professionalization.

In a press release announcing the strategic partnership the Huns noted that the objectives are:
  • Help the Austin Huns to create their professional environment and develop the new training facility
  • Build exchanges between coaches on game plans and training content
  • Give opportunities to young players with high potential to have experiences in France and the US
  • Give experienced players from France a "last challenge" in the US
  • Bring the Racing 92 pro team to the US for exhibition games
  • Help the Racing 92 to develop their brand in the US
Take the jump to read more.
There are several interesting items packed in the announcement to keep an eye on. First is the idea of U.S. players potentially heading over to France to gain experience. More U.S. players need that. Having a player head over to a club for a month is nothing new in soccer but rugby needs to find a way to explore that more, which this partnership intends to do.

Another aspect is potentially bringing over players from France to play a "last challenge" in the United States. There have always been players coming from Europe at the twilight of their careers and contributing to clubs as they shift to something else but a formal partnership to do just that would be different. 

Additionally, the idea of Racing 92 coming over to play exhibition matches is very interesting. There is an appetite for top level rugby in the United States and as Austin proved during the ARC they can put butts in the seats. A match against Racing 92 may not be a bad thing for local players. 

As with anything this partnership needs to shake out. That said, if it can become as productive as the partnership between the Seattle Saracens and Saracens in England then it will be good for the game.

6 comments:

  1. Is this independent of Pro Rugby?

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    1. but do they want to join pro rugby in the future? pro rugby from an article I read long time ago wants to have each club eventually owned by someone else, like the MLS. wouldn't Austin be great to be that first team to be owned on its own and not have to rely on the league to write its checks.

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    2. Nope. This is in preparation for the formation of the Red River Premiership.

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    3. I thought this might be towards such a move. The Griffins are already professional, the Huns just went that way, and I hear that the Blacks, a Houston team, and maybe another Dallas side are all doing the same. Exciting times.

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  2. What is the Red River Premiership?

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