Talk of professional rugby seems to have been on everyone’s lips recently. Are we finally gaining the traction we feel the sport deserves? Or is it just that time of year again where the 7’s tournament is closing in but not close enough to be interesting, the college season has yet to kick off and there isn’t much else to talk about?
When the well of news runs dry, speculation about pro rugby is there to slake our thirst. Even in our archives, professional rugby related articles reach a peak in January & February. As of you reading this, as many as three or four separate groups are likely working feverishly to to put together a US based pro rugby tournament.
Most of these groups are working on 15’s competitions, to the delight of those who were worried the Olympics may have taken the spotlight away from this style.
This past week, RugbyMag covered rumours about a professional competition that is being planned in the Western part of the USA., while The Rugby Wrapup covered another about a similar endeavour in a North, with teams from both Canada and the USA taking part. More details are yet to come out about either of these, but The Wrap hinted at the idea of fans being encourages to crowdfund or donate to the endeavour.
These, and all other such rumours, may prove to be pipe dreams again and again, but the prevalence of them surely shows there is major interest in a N. American rugby tournament. Rugby enclaves all across the globe would benefit from a potential market as large as the US getting interested in the game in a big way.
However since that these tournaments have never materialised over all these years suggests that perhaps remaining sceptical is for the best. This may be because I’ve been conditioned after all these years though!