There still aren't a lot of details about Major League Rugby which launches next year. That's not necessarily a cause for worry. There is still a year away from the competition starting and it will mostly use existing teams so a lot of the infrastructure was there. One team, however, is releasing more details. The Houston Strikers are the one team that doesn't currently play and they've announced a few details about there team. From their Facebook page:
1. Strikers are in process of recruiting a head coach.
2. Strikers are interviewing stadium contractors.
3. Strikers will build stadium in sustainable phases.
4. Phase 01 renderings will be posted soon.
5. Strikers have committed to Major League Rugby (MLR).
6. Strikers will field a MLR team in 2018.
Take the jump to read more.
Possibly the most interesting thing from the tidbit of news as the stadium plans. Stadiums seem to be a key of at least the Texas teams in the competition but it is unclear how exactly they plan to finance them. The costs of running a professional team are high and then throw in a multimillion dollar stadium and that makes it difficult.
Awhile ago we reached out to MLR exec Diana Anderson to get more on MLR. Here is what she said:
TIAR: How does the league move forward knowing PRO Rugby has a sanctioning agreement with U.S.A. Rugby in place?
Diana Anderson: Our hope is to grow a collaborative relationship with USA Rugby. We believe that, in the long term, both sides would benefit from a strategic partnership between MLR and USAR as we work towards our shared goal of developing and growing American rugby. Our goal is to coordinate with USA Rugby and ultimately operate under a sanction from the governing body. We are aware of their current arrangements and cannot comment on what USA Rugby may or may not do in the near-term.
TIAR: When were the first discussions for the competition held?
DA: Conversations between members about a collaborative professional model, driven by the rugby community, date back several years. Our founders have a long history of making contributions to growing the game in their communities and believe that those contributions are a key factor in growing the game and the success of a professional league. The more formal discussions began more recently, but developed organically over months and years.
TIAR: How will the league enforce compliance among other members?
DA: The league is a joint venture of the members, the members will be developing the standards and regulations jointly. Each member's success enhances that of the other partners, so we expect there to be a collaborative approach to ensuring compliance. That said, we will, of course, develop certain minimum standards and there will be checks against those standards in the run-up to the season and once play begins.