Sport24.co.za | LA Coast aims for 2019 Major League Rugby start

Los Angeles – Just days after Major League Rugby completed its first campaign in the United States, a group announced plans Tuesday to bring an expansion club to Los Angeles next year.

LA Coast Rugby said Tuesday it has secured exclusive negotiating rights for a Los Angeles team, with businessmen Stuart Proctor and Patrick McCullagh as founders of the group.

“We are very excited about the potential of this market and the opportunity to build a top-notch professional rugby team,” Proctor said in a statement.

Major League Rugby opened with seven teams in its inaugural season, with Seattle beating Glendale (Colorado) in Saturday’s championship match. Other clubs included New Orleans, Utah, San Diego, Houston and Austin, Texas.

An expansion team for New York is set for next year with another planned in Washington no later than 2020.

“With its size and diversity, Los Angeles is a great market for a Major League Rugby team,” MLR deputy commissioner Nic Benson said in a release announcing the LA Coast plans.

“With the 2028 Summer Olympics coming up in LA, and rugby (sevens) being an Olympic sport, this earmarks a tremendous opportunity for the team and the city itself. We see LA Coast quickly leading the way in developing elite rugby in greater Los Angeles.”

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