The Los Angeles Giltinis and the Austin Gilgronis will not compete in 2023
DALLAS (Oct. 25, 2022) — Major League Rugby (MLR) today announced that the 2023 MLR season will now feature 12 teams in a two-conference competition. 11 of the teams that competed in 2022 will return for the 2023 campaign, however, neither the Austin Gilgronis nor Los Angeles Giltinis will participate. The 12th team will be an expansion team in a new market. A detailed announcement surrounding the expansion team is expected in the coming weeks.
With the uncertainties surrounding Austin and Los Angeles’ team ownership, it was determined to suspend operations of the two teams to ensure a successful 2023 season, and protect the long-term strength and continued growth of the league.
“While we understand that this news is disappointing for the fans, players, and stakeholders of these two teams, this decision was made after much deliberation and counsel, and with the best interests of the league in mind,” said MLR Commissioner George Killebrew. “Our league is invested in long-term success. It is vital for us to give our teams and their loyal fanbases the best chance of succeeding both on and off the field in 2023.”
The competition will once again feature a 16-game schedule and playoffs. The Eastern and Western Conferences will feature 6 teams each for the 2023 season. FOX will broadcast 18 matches on FS1 and FS2 and will air the Championship Final on FOX Sports.
The league will offer all Austin and Los Angeles players the opportunity to continue playing in MLR by holding a dispersal draft in the coming weeks. Teams will announce player moves as they are confirmed.
MLR is committed to continuing to grow the sport of rugby in Austin, Los Angeles, and the surrounding areas. These markets and their fans demonstrated their support for the game and proved to be cities in which the league intends to have a long-term presence. With that in mind, MLR, with USA Youth & High School, will work with Rugby Texas and SoCal Youth Rugby on the imminent relaunch of Rookie Rugby as well as the expansion of rugby in community colleges.
Fans can expect announcements about the schedule, tickets, jersey reveals, and details surrounding the league’s expansion in the coming weeks.