DALLAS (June 10, 2021) — Major League Rugby (MLR) will host its second-ever  Collegiate Draft on Thursday, August 19, 2021. The event will feature the largest eligible draft class in league history. Last year the inaugural Collegiate Draft was a huge success for the only professional rugby league in North America. No. 1 pick Conner Mooneyham has established himself with the Austin Gilgronis as an integral part of the team and has been a multiple-time selection to the weekly GEICO XV squad of standout players across the league. Mooneyham and NOLA Gold Draft pick Andrew Guerra have been  selected to the USA Men’s National Team   roster for the upcoming England and Ireland test matches.

An exciting change from last year is that the Draft is now open to Canadian collegiate athletes, recognizing the quality of talent pathways north of the border. This year’s draft will consist of a minimum of three rounds and the order of selection will be determined by the inverse order of standings from the 2021 MLR season. Once selected, teams will use a draft-and-follow approach and will have until the mid-point of the MLR season after the player’s collegiate eligibility ends to reach an agreement with the player.

“We are very excited to welcome new talent into Major League Rugby through our second Collegiate Draft,” said MLR Commissioner George Killebrew. “Last year over 400 players applied for consideration to join the league. We are looking at even more talented players from across North America this year. We are developing grassroots programs and supporting a variety of avenues to bolster interest in rugby so the talent coming into the league will continue to get better and better.”

“I expect to see many of the future rookies have the success we have seen from players like Conner, Andrew, Utah’s Derek Ellingson, Seattle’s Aaron Matthews, New England’s Justin Johnson and so many other first-year players. We will also be opening the draft to Canadian collegiate athletes which will give us an even deeper talent pool.”

For the 2021 Draft only, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLR is waiving the requirement for athletes to have been a registered collegiate rugby player in the year preceding the draft. However, all athletes must have been enrolled in college during the 2020-2021 academic year. Players are encouraged to review the eligibility section at www.MajorLeague.Rugby/Draft and reach out to  draft@usmlr.com for any queries.

Collegiate players who meet the draft criteria may declare for the draft by filling out the MLR enrollment form by Friday, August 6, 2021. The enrollment form and more information can be found  here.

Fans can stay tuned for information on how to watch the 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft. Draft- related questions can be forwarded to  draft@usmlr.com.

A complete list of the 2020 MLR Draft picks can be found  here.



About Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fourth season on March 20, 2021 and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2021, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, among other national and local market platforms. Select matches are available to stream live in North America on The Rugby Network, and all matches are available on The Rugby Network for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit www.MajorLeague.Rugby, and download the MLR App.

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