If you’re a true rugby fan, by now you’ll be in trouble at home – and possibly also at work – because there is so much to watch that you’ll have little time for anything else. We’ve already mentioned Super Rugby last week and this week, Six Nations, Rugby Europe and FNB Varsity Cup but there’s more, much more.
In Europe, PRO14, the Championship, the Premiership, PRO D2 and Top 14 are all in full swing this weekend. While, to the East, in Japan, the Top League is drawing in massive crowds (see page seven) and to the West, America’s Major League Rugby (MLR) kicked off it’s 2020 season last weekend.
It’s a massively expanded MLR this year – up to twelve teams from the nine that competed last year: Austin Gilgronis (previously Austin Elite), Colorado Raptors, Houston Sabercats, NOLA Gold, Rugby United NY, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Toronto Arrows and Utah Warriors. The three new teams are New England Free Jacks, Old Glory DC and Rugby ATL (Atlanta).
One round of six matches has been played so far and these are the results so far. Last Saturday, Sabercats defeated Raptors (21-12) and NOLA Gold thumped the newly promoted Old Glory (46-13). And last Sunday, new kids on the block, Rugby ATL trounced Utah Warriors (28-19) while the third new team in the competition, New England Free Jacks, ran out to a convincing win over Rugby United NY (34-14).
On Monday, in a repeat of last year’s final, SD Legion managed to turn the tables on the champion Seawolves (33-24) while Gilgronis were thrashed by the visiting Toronto (10-38). There’s a full suite of match reports on the official MLR web site if you want a little more detail.