MLR – Eastern Division
The two semi-finalists from last year, the Toronto Arrows and Rugby United New York and original MLR team NOLA Gold will be joined by three new expansion teams.
These teams are Rugby ATL, Old Glory DC, and New England Free Jacks.
MLR – Western Division
All six western division teams have been in MLR since its inception. The two times defending champions the Seattle SeaWolves and last years finalist San. Diego Legion are joined by Austin Gilgronis, Utah Warriors, Houston SaberCats and the Colorado Raptors in the division.
MLR is league with playing opportunities roughly fitting into 3 distinct buckets the first is best domestic U.S and Canadian players are drawn from their respective domestic club and collegiate competition alongside USA & Canada Internationals, the second bucket is young up and coming overseas players that have been through Tier 1 academy structures and have competed in some of the rest of the worlds professional competitions thus qualifying them to play professionally in North America. The lsat group is the smallest one that is filled with marque players that bring a level of experience and cache to the league and their respective teams. Two examples of this would be;
San Diego Legions’ Ma’a Nonu is a New Zealand All Blacks superstar signing with the San Diego Legions of MLR. He has won 2 World Cups, 5 Tri-Nations/Rugby Championships and 8 Bledisloe Cups. Coach Rob Hoadley spoke about the importance of Ma’a Nonu in San Diego and MLR. “Ma’a is a huge addition for us,” Legion head coach Rob Hoadley said. “It is undeniable that he will have a major impact on the MLR this season. He is a world-class player who has proven himself to be one of the greats of the game.”
Rugby United New York’s Mathieu Bastareaud, the French international rugby star. Since making his debut for the French national team in 2009, “Basta” has made over 50 appearances representing his country, most recently during the 2019 6 Nations Championship, when he faced off against rivals Italy, Ireland, England, and France. He has captained the side on three occasions as well.
Major League Rugby Expansion 2021
There will be a Dallas team joining MLR in 2021. This would be the third Texan team joining the MLR side, with Austin and Houston already having teams. Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the USA alongside Vancouver and Halifax in Canada are also rumored to be potential expansion cities.
Major League Rugby Schedule
The schedule for the regular season will start on Saturday, February 8 where NOLA Gold will host Old Glory DC. Also, on the same day, the Houston Sabercats will host the Colorado Raptors. The MLR playoffs had the top four teams make it to the playoffs this year. Next year, this will increase to six teams. The top seed of each conference gets a bye to the conference finals. The second and third-placed teams of each conference, will then face each other. The winner of that playoff match will face the top seed of their conference. The Conference champions [semifinals winners] will then face each other for the major prize. The Americas Rugby Shield. All MLR teams will have a 16 game schedule to determine who will make the playoffs.