Professional rugby has arrived in the United States, with the Colorado-based Glendale Raptors as one of the seven founding member teams in the new professional league, Major League Rugby (MLR).
Starting in April 2018, MLR will field a 10-game schedule with each team playing eight regular season games with two bye weeks. The season will begin April 21, at Infinity Park in Glendale, with the regular season concluding on June 24.
The Raptors will join six other founding teams in the inaugural season of MLR including the Utah Warriors, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Houston SaberCats, New Orleans Gold and Austin Elite Rugby.
Each team is deeply invested in its respective community in order to increase youth participation and grow the game. Athletes take pride in the values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship. MLR looks forward to establishing these values in youth programs throughout rugby communities.
The Raptors have assembled an impressive player pool, signing many from their championship winning elite men’s team that have competed since 2007 in USA Rugby Men’s Division 1, Pacific Rugby Premiership and, most recently, Major Rugby Championship. A number of the Raptors squad have also been selected to play with the United States national team, the USA Eagles, further demonstrating Glendale’s ten-year history of consistent success. Raptors Head Coach David Williams acknowledges the team’s readiness for professional competition, noting that the Raptors have had “really good preparation and a great platform, making us ready to launch into the MLR.”
MLR has partnered with CBS Sports Net who will broadcast the season opener April 21 from Infinity Park, and with AT&T Sports, who will broadcast the remaining home matches.
Season tickets are available for purchase now at glendaleraptors.com
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