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Huge blow for US rugby as former MLR winner reportedly goes bust

MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK - JUNE 25: Brendon O'Connor #7 of Rugby New York looks on during the second half against Old Glory DC at Memorial Field on June 25, 2023 in Mount Vernon, New York. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images for Rugby New York)

Reports suggest that Major League Rugby is in for another blow, as Rugby New York appear to be the latest team to go under.

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The side that won the 2022 MLR is now facing a disappointing end, as they reportedly had until today to come up with much needed capital, according to various sources, such as americasrugbynews writer, Bryan Ray.

He says that players from the club, which changed names multiple times since joining the league in 2019, have already started contacting other teams.

The club joins the Toronto Arrows in folding before the 2024 season after a long-rumoured deal to sell the club has reportedly fallen through.

Rugby traction in the over-saturated US sports market has always been challenging for MLR teams, with a fine example being the meagre 2,000 fans in attendance in New Jersey when New York claimed their first MLR title.

The team were being courted by a conglomerate of investors, but a deal has not been reached.

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Meanwhile, Rugby Canada have announced a new strategic plan for 2024 until 2027 and beyond.

“The plan has been approved by Rugby Canada’s board after several months of consultation and collaboration with Rugby Canada’s executive leadership team and staff, national team players and representatives from all 10 provincial unions,” their statement said.

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“The new plan has put emphasis on three strategic aims:

  • Support Our Teams to Win: Build high performing national teams and provide training environments that achieve success.
  • Be a Leading Sports Organization: Transform Rugby Canada into a strong, world class national sports organization.
  • Expand Financial Capacity: Grow and diversify revenues, increase financial stability and create new opportunities.

“The new plan displays a clear commitment to a new standard of performance, behaviour, attitude and decision-making as we enter a new era of rugby in Canada.”

The overview version of Rugby Canada’s new strategic plan can be found here.

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2 Comments
M
Michael 218 days ago

Sad news. Hope it isn't a sign of things to come. MLR need to do a long term feasibility report on all their member clubs, For long term sustainability of the league. Where is World Rugby and its 500 million from rugby World Cup 2023? What’s their long term strategic plan?

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