Old Glory DC Release — (Washington, DC – April 1, 2019)
Old Glory DC, Washington’s first professional rugby team, has released its 2019 exhibition season schedule. Between mid-May and mid-June, the team will host four home games at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium and make one visit for an away game in New England. Opponents will include a variety of North American and overseas competition sure to catch the interest of serious and casual rugby fans alike.
Old Glory is an approved expansion team of Major League Rugby, with plans to enter the league in the 2020 season. As part of the team development, Old Glory has hosted a series of player combines throughout the mid-Atlantic region to comb the market for talent. The team has also conducted direct recruitment of players both across the nation and around the world. Several player signings have already been announced and others are anticipated imminently. The team is also expected to announce a head coach hire in the coming weeks and begin practicing in mid-April in order to prepare for the 2019 exhibition season.
The season will open on Sunday, May 19 when Old Glory hosts Shannon RFC of the All Ireland League (AIL) in the Ireland Ambassador’s Cup game. Presented in partnership with the Ireland Embassy and in support of Alexandria Youth Rugby, Old Glory anticipates that this will be the first of an annual series of exhibitions against visiting Irish competition. The event day will include two opening “curtain raiser” games and Irish-themed family entertainment throughout the afternoon.
On the following Memorial Day weekend, Old Glory will welcome to the U.S. its newest strategic partner, Scottish Rugby. The Scotland national U20 team will visit D.C. for a week to stage en route to the U20 World Championship in Argentina. While here, the Scottish U20s will conduct an intensive week-long training camp, including a game against Old Glory on the evening of Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day). Scotland U20 Head Coach, Carl Hogg, said, “This is great opportunity to get an extra week’s worth of preparation in a fantastic facility, and the added benefit of a good hard hit out against the newly formed Old Glory DC team. This excellent match opportunity in a venue much closer to the Argentina time zone will give us a great springboard into the world championships.”
The following two weekends will see Old Glory host two North American sides, one from south of the Mason-Dixon line and the other from north of the border. USA Rugby South’s select side will visit to play Old Glory on Saturday night, June 1, followed a week later by the Canadian side Ontario Blues on Sunday, June 9.
Finally, on Saturday, June 15, Old Glory will visit New England to play the only other incoming MLR expansion team on its exhibition schedule, the New England Freejacks.
“We’re sure rugby enthusiasts will agree, we’ve managed to pull together some really top quality opponents from some of the best rugby nations in the world,” said Old Glory owner Paul Sheehy.
Added Chairman Chris Dunlavey, “Some of these are definitely challenging opponents for a newly formed American rugby team. But we’ll learn a lot about the players we’ve pulled together by testing them against the best, and we hope we’ll give each a great game.”
Old Glory DC plans to begin general ticket sales on Monday, April 8.
About Old Glory DC:
Old Glory DC is a professional rugby club based in Washington, DC that officially joined Major League Rugby in November 2018 and will begin league plays in MLR’s 2020 season. The club will play a series of exhibition games throughout the first half of 2019. As a recent addition to the fabric of the nation’s capital and the entire mid-Atlantic community, Old Glory DC’s vision is to grow the sport of rugby in our region by 50% by 2023. The club is owned by life-long rugby players Paul Sheehy and Chris Dunlavey, who are proud to bring professional rugby to their home town for the first time ever. For more information, visit www.oldglorydc.com
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