Today, the Austin Huns and Griffins Rugby of Allen, TX, released a joint statement officially stating that they are actively working to put together the pieces for a professional Texas Premiership. Over the last several months, both of these teams have been actively showing the push for this premiership. Griffins Rugby started the process in 2015 when they signed on their first paid players. Early in May, they officially unveiled their new home, The Den, a fully equipped athletic training facility that will be used to help develop their rugby and the rugby with in the surrounding area. Further south, the Austin Huns began their process to professionalism. The first reports came when USA Rugby Legend, Todd Clever, took on partial ownership of the club, which lead to the partnering with French Rugby club, Racing92. Now we are finally seeing the full scope of the vision.
“Our plan is simply the next step in American rugby. While Doug Schoninger’s PRO Rugby continues to build, the almost overnight introduction of a privately owned and operated new league doesn’t alter the fact that many clubs have been building towards this for years. We want more, quality rugby and don’t see this as a rival to PRO but rather a different approach that stems from the hard work and dedication of the entire rugby community. There have been several statements made by people outside our group claiming that we want to challenge PRO legally or object to the manner in which that league has been implemented. This is not our position! We have had discussions with PRO and are open to continue that dialog as we are with any rugby organization or stakeholder that wishes to know more. USA Rugby has had a presence at the majority of our meetings and has expressed support and we look forward to working within the existing USA Rugby structure as closely as possible.”
The impact of this league is yet to be felt. How it will affect PRO Rugby North America is yet to be seen, but it does show the changing perception of how rugby is being viewed. The start of the business era of USA Rugby, and the tailing off of the charitable donation structure that majority of clubs are utilizing currently.
Read more: http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=5ccb3c99adefdde9113c0a79d&id=11fde6aed1