The Rise of Rugby


Major League Rugby (MLR) prepares to kick off its fifth season of competition as the highest level of rugby in North America. The 2022 season begins on the weekend of Feb. 5-6, with six matches on the schedule.

Celebrated as an emerging sport by MLR, rugby is a global movement gaining momentum. A game with heart and soul that echoes the best aspects of life, rugby prioritizes the importance of community, emphasizes glory with modesty, while giving mutual respect for rules and rule makers. Success in the sport is not measured in wins and losses, but in the growth of the game.


MLR is spreading the mantra that the game of rugby isn’t for anyone; rather it’s for every-one. It’s an experience that captivates and forms connections well beyond the final whistle.

“As we approach our half-decade mark with MLR, I have seen firsthand that there is a global rugby movement within the United States and Canada,” says Commissioner George Killebrew. “Thanks to the groundswell of support for the ‘Rise of Rugby,’ our league is truly gaining momentum on the national stage. I cannot wait to introduce Major League Rugby to more fans and see continued growth in attendance numbers, broadcast ratings and global recognition during our fifth season. There’s a place for everyone in our sport.”

Beginning with seven teams in 2018, MLR has grown to 13 teams for its fifth season in 2022. League play begins on Feb. 5 and continues through June 5, with the Championship Series beginning on June 11. The MLR Championship Final is slated to be played the weekend of June 25/26. 

The 2021 season saw Major League Rugby begin play on March 20 and continue for 18 weeks of regular season action. Twelve teams across North America competed to qualify for the Conference Finals and eventually the MLR Championship Final. The LA Giltinis and Rugby ATL progressed to the MLR Championship Final on August 1, played at the LA Memorial Coliseum. With over 2.08 million households tuned in on CBS, the LA Giltinis took home the Major League Rugby Shield.

MLR matches are nationally televised on the FOX Network on FS1 and FS2, 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 to stream live on The Rugby Network for international fans.

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