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It's first-timers versus old hands in the MLR Final in New Jersey

By Teddy Parker
Waisake Naholo #14 of Rugby New York looks on from the locker room prior to the Major League Rugby match against the Seattle Seawolves at JFK Stadium on May 15, 2022 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images for Rugby New York)

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Rugby New York will host Seattle Seawolves today in the final of Major League Rugby. It was announced this week that the MLR showpiece game would be held at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey – the home of MLS side New York Red Bulls.

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It is the hosts’ first-ever Championship Game appearance whilst Seattle will be playing for their third MLR title. Having previously won in 2018 and 2019.

Rugby New York boast a side packed full of international talent with former All Blacks Andy Ellis, Waisake Naholo and Nehe Milner-Skudder set to start.

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Seattle came into the league knockouts as the bottom seed but following convincing Western Conference playoff wins over San Diego and Houston SaberCats they now roll into the final with plenty of momentum.

Rugby New York overcame Atlanta and arch-rivals New England on the road to take their place in the final – which is just the new league’s fourth ever showpiece, with the 2020 season having been scrapped.

“Being one of the only two members left from the inaugural day with New York, it has been a long time coming,” Rugby New York back row Dylan Fawsitt told the MLR website this week. “To represent the greatest city in the world, and do it in the big dance is really, really special.

MLR Red Bull Arena
The USA vs Ireland match at Red Bull Arena. Harrison, NJ in 2017 CREDIT: Jesse Reiter (Photo by Jesse Reiter /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
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“What has always stood through my time here is that we have always had quality men involved in this organization, especially on the field.”

“It is going to be such a spectacle for the game here in the States, especially in front of our family and friends at home.”

In the US, the game will be broadcast to a huge television audience on Fox – whilst fans around the world can tune in live and for free at therugbynetwork.com.

Kick-off is set for 5 pm BST.

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You can watch highlights and replays of every game of the 2022 MLR season at The Rugby Network.

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