Rugby 101

Learning the game, with glory days grill

Rugby is growing in North America and it’s time to start talking about the next biggest sport in the Washington, DC area.

Learn the sport of rugby in less that six minutes with Major League Rugby’s beginners guide.

Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fourth season in 2021 and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League was founded in 2018 with seven inaugural teams.

Season one introduced rugby to North America with crucial broadcast partnerships even from the very beginning. The gameplay was fast, hard-hitting and thrilling, a distinctly American interpretation of the international game that hooked fans.

Since 2018, MLR has grown to 13 teams, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. The skill level on the pitch has grown exponentially year over year as top foreign talent has entered the League and the American rugby pathways have strengthened.

Broadcast partnerships have grown to include CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, ESPN+, and ESPNews, among other national and local market platforms. All matches are also available for the large international fanbase on Facebook Live.

While season three came to an early end, the progress of MLR was still ramping up. As the first three seasons were for developing the foundation, the next phase is for cementing a position in the professional sports landscape of North America. The League expanded once again to 13 teams, added the Collegiate Draft to serve as a further pathway to professional rugby, and is working towards youth rugby initiatives with all teams.

MLR has continued to prove that fans are falling in love with rugby because of the duality it offers. For some it’s the intensity, physicality, and speed of the game that get them hooked. For others it’s the communal celebration after every match where players and fans from both teams come together to mingle over food or drinks. And for others it’s the ability to be coached by a professional rugby player in the afternoon, and then later that same day cheer on their mentor taking the pitch themselves.

Major League Rugby has come a long way in three years, and it’s only the beginning.