LA Coast Rugby Joins Major League Rugby in 2019

LA Coast Rugby today announced it has secured exclusive negotiating rights for the first Major League Rugby team (MLR) in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. The team will make its debut during the 2019 season.

Rugby has rapidly gained popularity in the US. In recent years, it has actually claimed the title as the fastest growing sport in America. More than 100,000 players are registered with USA Rugby, and there are nearly 800 college teams.

The City of Los Angeles has over 4 million locals and the metropolitan area has almost 19 million. The expansion of LA Coast Rugby comes with excitement for locals, and especially rugby lovers. By bringing the sport to Los Angeles, LA Coast Rugby founders Stuart Proctor and Patrick McCullagh aim to add to the city’s sports renaissance. In 2017, Southern California Youth Rugby (SCYR) had the largest concentration of youth rugby players nationwide. It also has 2 PAC-12 collegiate programs and 3 D1-A collegiate programs, with Belmont Shores RFC making it to the senior national club championship final.

“We are seeing a steady increase in youth rugby programs in the LA Metropolitan and surrounding areas. It is a hotbed for youth, high school, and club rugby,” said Stuart Proctor, co-founder, and CEO of LA Coast Rugby. “We are very excited about the potential of this market and the opportunity to build a top-notch professional rugby team and enhance the city’s current sports revitalization.”

“With its size and diversity, Los Angeles is a great market for a Major League Rugby team,” said Nic Benson, Deputy Commissioner of MLR. “With the 2028 Summer Olympics coming up in LA, and rugby being an Olympic sport, this earmarks a tremendous opportunity for the team and the city itself. We see LA Coast quickly leading the way in developing elite rugby in greater Los Angeles.”

LA Coast Rugby is in discussions with two organizations in the Los Angeles area to determine where the team will play. The team is expected to announce the venue by mid-August and is in discussions about the location of its training facility. A shortlist of candidates is under review for the team’s Director of Rugby and coaching staff. It will draw from the best talent to build the team, which will comprise of a blend of the best local and national athletes, collegiate and Under 20 (U20) talent nationwide, and international rugby athletes.

“We are thrilled to be joining the ranks of other great LA teams with LA Coast Rugby,” stated Patrick McCullagh, the team’s co-founder, and CFO. “We plan to build a team that is committed to teamwork and service to this city as well as a brand that Southern California can be proud of with deep roots in the community while developing a strong rugby playing ecosystem.”

For more information on LA Coast Rugby, please visit the team’s website at http://www.lacoastrugby.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages at @LACoastRugby

“We are seeing a steady increase in youth rugby programs in the LA Metropolitan and surrounding areas. It is a hot-bed for youth, high school, and club rugby,” said Stuart Proctor, co-founder and CEO of LA Coast Rugby. “We are very excited about the potential of this market.”

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant