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MLR reveal new franchise: The Chicago Hounds

By Ian Cameron
The Chicago Hounds logo.

Major League Rugby have revealed a 12th franchise – The Chicago Hounds – who will be based out of the windy city.

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The Chicago Hounds will compete in MLR’s Western Conference and will wear green and sky blue colours. The side will play its inaugural match on the road at Old Glory DC on Saturday, February 18.

Ireland players Rob and Dave Kearney, as well as former Rugby United New York boss James English – are listed among the franchise’s creators – the Chicago MLR Founders Group.

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They will play out of the 28,000-capacity SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, with their first game at their new home on set for Sunday, March 4 against the Utah Warriors.

“We are thrilled to add the Chicago Hounds to Major League Rugby for the 2023 season,” said MLR Commissioner George Killebrew. “Chicago is one of the best sports towns in North America and we couldn’t be happier to be part of the competitive landscape. Rugby has a long-time tradition in the city and throughout Northern Illinois and we look forward to growing the game even further.”

Led by longtime Chicago rugby players and fans Matt Satchwell and Phil Groves, the Chicago MLR Founders Group is deeply committed to rallying Chicago’s community spirit to establish rugby as America’s next great sporting pastime. Satchwell, an attorney who also serves as Board Chair, has been playing rugby his entire life and for the past 20 years in Chicago. Groves is president of DAC Management and a part team owner who has been playing with and sponsoring rugby teams in Chicago and around the world for years.

“This is a special day for all of us,” said English. “We are very excited to formally introduce the Chicago Hounds name, as well as our logo and team colors. This organization plans to continue growing the game of rugby at the grassroots level here in Chicago and build a fanbase that can be proud of the way our team operates and competes.” Chicago’s inaugural season schedule can be viewed here.

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