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News reports have been percolating since spring of this year, which indicate that a second US professional league is being planned with a possible 2017 debut. This is officially called the Major Rugby Championship (MRC), a southwestern and Rocky Mountain regional league, to include the Austin Huns, Glendale Raptors, Rugby Utah, the Texas Griffins (Dallas-based), and the New Orleans (NOLA) club.
The initial development of this idea comes from the Austin Huns, which, at one time, conceived of a more local, southwestern organization with the Huns, NOLA, Austin Blacks, Houston, and Oklahoma City as the five core teams.
The Huns perceive that for rugby to grow in America it has to move to some professionalization model where players are paid, and local stadiums can attract Saturday crowds of 4,000 to 5,000, with possible expansion to 10,000 capacity. The Huns estimate that a 32-player roster would cost between $300.0M and $500.0M per year.
As of December 2016, the MRC has no online commercial website, There is a tentative schedule for 2017. No statement whether it has applied for or received USA Rugby sanctioning.
So, it’s wait and see, but soon the American rugby community will learn whether MRC is a bona fides second venture into professionalizing fifteens, or whether it is a league on paper only.