Monday, July 18, 2016

Another PRO12 To The U.S. Report Surfaces

Another PRO12 to the U.S. report has surfaced. This time it's IRFU chief executive Philip Browne telling the Irish Times that change is needed to the PRO12 in order to remain competitive and that a good option to look at might be coming to the United States. Once again there aren't a lot of specifics other than to say that it's potentially lucrative. He also implied that the team could be run by the Irish provinces with Irish players and coaches.

In the article Browne does admit that going to the U.S. is going to cause problems but at the same time there is a sense that some in Europe don't quite grasp the realities of the situation. Travel is certainly an issue and it's going to be very difficult for Americans to support a team if there isn't a significant amount of Americans on the team itself. Still, it's something to keep an eye on.


  1. Ultimately, we will probably see multiple pro leagues with a presence in the US. Obviously, PRO Rugby and then probably 1 European league and Super Rugby. I can see the East Coast with a team in Europe and the West Coast with a team in Super Rugby.

  2. I like that the IRFU is thinking along these lines.
    Irish and American players have been going back and forth, with exchanges to Life U and Trinity at the college level and ProRugby coaches and players on the professional level.
    We're making it difficult for individuals to get playing time and recognition when they have to go it alone (well, not really).
    Let the Pro12 add expansion teams here and fill them with a mix of US and Irish players and coaches. We can learn from the Irish while giving playing time to their surplus players.
    It's a win-win - except for those six-to-seven hour flights for games.

  3. I agree that the presence of multiple professional competitions is inevitable. I also think it may be Super Rugby that would be the better fit thanks to its conference structure.

    I tend to believe that we'll see SR move to around 24 teams fairly quickly. We'll likely see another Asian based squad out of either Singapore or Hong Kong. I can also see either Argentina being awarded a second franchise or forming the spine of a combined Sth American squad. I can also see both the US and Canada being earmarked for two franchises as well. The goal will be to bring maintain the four conference structure from this season but to balance the competition more along timezones.