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Starting at the end of January, the Pacific Rugby Premiership returns for the second year of its comeback. Five of the six teams from last season are back pitting the best of west coast men’s DI club competition against each other. Belmont Shore, OMBAC, Santa Monica, SFGG, and Life West return to the PRP while the Glendale Merlins replaced Olympic Club for the 2019 season.
“Last season was year one of the PRP returning,” PRP Director of Operations Geno Mazza said. “The goal was to ease the teams back into the grind of a long season and align all the teams to work together again for the betterment of the competition. We are now entering year two as the PRP 2.0, the focus will be getting tighter as we look at ways to improve ourselves, on and off the pitch.”
The major change from last season is the departure of the Olympic Club and the addition of the Glendale Merlins. “The Olympic Club made the decision to exit the league,” Mazza stated. “They felt that NorCal DII was a better fit for their club at this time.”
As for Glendale, the Merlins finished in third place in the DI Red River earlier this year. “We are excited to have the Glendale Merlins back in the PRP,” Mazza indicated. “The Raptors were originally in the PRP and were instrumental in establishing those early years of success and setting high standards. As we look to align with the MLR, teams like the Raptors can/will use the PRP via 'feeder' teams, like the Merlins, to secure squad players game time. This will only serve to increase the playing standard of the PRP and help MLR squads with consistency.”
“We have been in talks with the MLR directly about working together and what that would look like. There are key opportunities around developing a player pathway from Elite Club rugby to MLR play.”
The PRP season will begin in late January and have its championship on May 4th. Each team will play a home and away against each club for a total of 33 league games. Like last season, the PRP champions will challenge the victors of the Red River to contend for the DI national championship on June 1st. The league will partner with FloRugby to stream games online.
The PRP will kick off the season with a title game rematch between Belmont Shore and OMBAC. The San Diego outfit will be looking for revenge of its 54-29 defeat in the championship and Belmont will be ready for all challengers to the crown. All six squads in this season's competition are itching to get started and show why the PRP is the elite Division I conference in the country.
Mazza’s goal for 2019 is to have competitive games week in and week out. “Our eye is on 2020 and seeing if we can pull off expansion, adding Denver and Utah teams into the competition, as well as finding another NorCal team to replace Olympic Club, maybe Sacramento would be ideal.”
“The PRP has truly great teams, stacked with talent. As we saw from last season, all these teams can win or lose on any weekend. Every match-up is a truly, competitive game from the beginning of the season until the end,” Mazza concluded.
|1/26/19||Santa Monica||Glendale Merlins|
|2/2/19||Belmont Shore||Glendale Merlins|
|2/16/19||Santa Monica||Belmont Shore|
|2/16/19||Life West||Glendale Merlins|
|2/23/19||Belmont Shore||Life West|
|3/9/19||Santa Monica||Life West|
|3/16/19||Glendale Merlins||Santa Monica|
|3/23/19||Glendale Merlins||Belmont Shore|
|3/30/19||Life West||Belmont Shore|
|4/13/19||Glendale Merlins||Life West|
|4/13/19||Belmont Shore||Santa Monica|
|4/27/19||Life West||Santa Monica|
|5/4/19||5th Place Match||5th Place Match|
|5/4/19||3rd Place Match||3rd Place Match|
|5/4/19||1st Place Match||1st Place Match|