Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PRO Rugby, Eastern Province Talks Move Forward

Talks between PRO Rugby and the Eastern Province Rugby Union to take over the union's Super Rugby and Currie Cup teams took another step recently as PRO Rugby CEO Doug Schoninger met with EPRU officials in England. George Byron first reported the news. The talks took place at the World Rugby Conference where Schoninger also sat on a panel. According to Byron's reporting South Africa rugby president Mark Alexander said that the conversation was informal and that next steps haven't been planned. However, Schoninger said that there will be more meetings in the future. 

Maybe most interesting from the article was that part of the takeover plan would have players from South Africa filling a team based in New Orleans to play in PRO Rugby. The idea would be to give youth players a 90 day season before going into Currie Cup play. If true, it would give PRO Rugby it's first southern franchise and take the league in a new direction. 


  1. New Orleans? that's an interesting choice. I've never been able to get a direct flight there, so logistics to other cities will be a mess.

  2. New Orleans??? Huh. I know NOLA is a pretty solid club for D1 rugby, but I haven't ever heard too much about the supporting community there. Cailin is right that NO is not a direct flight location. It would be awesome having a team in the South, no matter where it was placed, but I would think that logistically, other places make more sense perhaps? Atlanta comes to mind. As does Ft Lauderdale''s Lockhart Stadium. Miami International is a MAJOR destination hub so logistics would be much simpler. Houston or Dallas or Austin considered Mid West for the purposes of this league, or would they still be the South?

  3. This is not going to happen. In order to buy and move the franchise he will need expressed permission from both USA Rugby and World Rugby. That will not occur until he makes good on the back wages due to players and coaches; pays outstanding referees match fees and settles all of the outstanding debts to various suppliers who have been burned over the course of the past season. While appearing like a moderate success on the outside, this charlatan has created a behind-the-scenes financial train wreck that may end up damaging professional rugby in the US for years to come.

    1. Where did you read that he was going to move the club/franchise? The idea in the blurb is that the younger players from the EPRU compete in a professional setting prior to the Currie Cup.

      I too question the idea of placing a team in NOLA. Houston, Atlanta, Dallas all seem like better options.

  4. I'd rather he focus exclusively on PRO. The initial season was a very modest success. There is a ton of work to be done and Schoninger doesn't strike me as a delegator. Every day spent on this is a day not spent on building PRO rugby.