Major League Rugby, USA Rugby, and World Rugby partner to create league’s newest team, Anthem Rugby Carolina
DALLAS, TX (January 19, 2024) – Major League Rugby (MLR), which represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America, is pleased to officially announce the awarding of an expansion team to Charlotte, N.C. that will join competition for the 2024 season. Anthem Rugby Carolina (RC) will play its home matches at American Legion Memorial Stadium.
MLR is focused on growth of rugby in the U.S. and driving a positive, innovative evolution for the game. Defined by a series of new partnerships and strategic expansions that will bring the game to more people across the country, MLR’s latest initiative with World Rugby and USA Rugby has the potential to be a transformative moment for the sport in the U.S., all leading to North America hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2031.
This new club is the result of an innovative, comprehensive partnership between the league, World Rugby and USA Rugby, and it represents a significant investment in the growth and development of the game in the U.S. Charlotte was selected because of the vibrant rugby culture that already exists in the community, as well as the existing infrastructure in place from USA Rugby.
Anthem RC, through the relationship with World Rugby and USA Rugby, is focused on enhancing the development pipeline for American players and the USA Eagles, the national men’s rugby team of the U.S, in advance of qualifying for the 2031 Rugby World Cup in 2027.
“The new club is a gamechanger for American rugby. Anthem RC is an innovative partnership to drive growth and build on the outstanding foundation our teams have forged during the past seven years. There’s no better city than Charlotte to serve as its host,” said Nic Benson, Commissioner of MLR. “Charlotte is one of the best sports cities in the country, with a passionate fan base for everything from basketball to soccer, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring home its first professional rugby franchise. There already is a great rugby community in Charlotte, and I’m excited to introduce this sport to new fans across the Carolinas.”
USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young added, “This remarkable collaboration between MLR, USA Rugby and World Rugby is an inspiring example of progress we can look forward to as rugby in America begins a new trajectory. Anthem RC provides a truly unique opportunity to partner with MLR in expanding the American rugby landscape to the Carolinas with a rich rugby history, while continuing to bolster the league as a key pathway for the USA Men’s Eagles. The level of teamwork that has occurred across all parties to bring this project to life is unprecedented and we’re thrilled to see it on a rugby pitch in Charlotte this year.”
The club’s inaugural roster features players from various MLR teams who are eligible to participate on behalf of the U.S. in international competition. The addition of Anthem RC also brings back the two-conference approach the league has relied on the past few seasons.
Anthem RC embraces the concept of rising stars throughout its brand, symbolic of the efforts of the new club to invest and grow American rugby. Inspired by the U.S. national anthem, it also features distinct connections to the Charlotte community by drawing from its rich military heritage and incorporating a recognizable color palette that draws from the smoky tones of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
For more information on the team, schedule and tickets go to anthemrc.com.
About Major League Rugby
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league representing the highest level of rugby competition in North America. MLR prides itself in fostering intense, high-stakes competition while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. Matches are televised on Fox Sports, among other national and local market platforms, and its OTT Platform, The Rugby Network offers fans the ability to stream select MLR matches live, along with Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Allianz Women’s Premiership Rugby, and other international rugby content. For more information, visit www.Majorleague.Rugby and follow @USMLR on Twitter and Instagram.
About USA Rugby
Established in 1975, USA Rugby is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of rugby in America and a Full Sport Member of World Rugby and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Currently headquartered in Glendale, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels with nearly 100,000 active members across the Youth, High School, College, Adult Club and National Team levels. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple age-grade programs and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. In 2031 and 2033, USA Rugby will welcome the world for the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup, the pinnacle event in the sport and third largest in the word. Visit usa.rugby for more information.
On behalf of Major League Rugby
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