January 22, 2016
PRO Rugby Includes San Diego For 2016 Season
Pro Rugby Press Release: Jan. 22, 2016
“PRO Rugby is pleased to announce that San Diego will be the third city competing in PRO Rugby’s Inaugural 2016 season. PRO Rugby wants to thank the University of San Diego for hosting us in Torero Stadium, a very special venue. PRO Rugby also wants to give a special thanks to both David Pool, President of the San Diego Mustangs, a local youth club, and Matthew Hawkins, CEO of The Institute of Rugby, for helping us bring professional rugby to San Diego. The head coach for the San Diego team will be announced in the coming days.
The remaining non-western based teams will be announced in the coming week. The selection of team cities has many components, many of which are out of our direct control. Issues range from playing field surfaces, scheduling, venue availability, existing rugby infrastructure, and individual state’s workman’s compensation insurance rules. These and many other issues played into the choosing of the host cities for the Inaugural year. As rugby in the USA transitions from amateurism to professionalism there are many unknowns, obstacles, and opportunities, all which make the journey fun and exciting to us and hopefully, to all our supporters.
Given the above, PRO Rugby has decided to launch our Inaugural season with five teams. Though some might find our decision disappointing, starting with five teams allows PRO Rugby to both maintain a higher level of on-field play and allow for a more manageable game day operational environment. Each team will now play 12 games over a 15-week schedule. Information on how each game will be broadcasted will be announced shortly.
We again, want to thank the rugby community for their support, advice, and cooperation as we continue the journey of introducing professional rugby to America.”
DJCoil Rugby Comments
San Diego joins San Francisco and Sacramento as the first cities that have been named for the inaugural season. The other two venues should be announced shortly.
What has been holding up the selection of venues is the new World Rugby turf requirements. That has limited where teams may play. Steve Lewis, Director of Rugby Operations, has indicated that once venue contracts have been finalized, coaches and players may be signed.
PRO Rugby will have another player combine in San Francisco on January 31, 2016. They anticipate that the pre-season will begin on March 14th, the regular season on April 10th and the season will end August 7th. That will exclude the weekends of June 11, 18 and 25th, which are reserved for International Team play.