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Shawn Clark’s belongings are scattered throughout the United States. He’s called apartments in New York, Colorado, Texas, and California home throughout the last 22 months of his life. He’s gotten good at moving. “I still feel like I have too much stuff,” Clark laughed. That’s life as a professional rugby player in the United States. That’s a life Shawn Clark…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Well, the final week of Major League Rugby’s 2022 regular season was something, wasn’t it? We all were heading into the weekend with the assumption that the 2022 playoff teams were locked up. We were just waiting to see how the teams were going to be seeded in each conference. What was supposed to be a relatively quiet final week of the regular season turned into one of the biggest weekends in the competition’s history, and that’s not good. Major League Rugby dropped a bombshell of an announcement on everyone’s heads while we were eating breakfast…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. The 2022 Major League Playoffs are set! Well, kind of. Round 17 revealed the six teams that will have the opportunity to duke it out for the championship shield, now we just need to determine the routes that teams will have to take to get to it. In the West, we will see two teams from Texas in the Austin Gilgronis and the Houston SaberCats try to beat out last year’s reigning champion LA Giltinis for the chance to represent the conference in the final. On the other side of the bracket, we will see the…

The idea behind the American Raptors is a simple one. Take high-level athletes that didn’t advance to the professional levels of their respective sports and transform them into the best rugby players they can possibly be. By training bigger, stronger athletes to play the game of rugby, the club’s ultimate goal is to funnel these players into the United States National Team and hopefully make an impact on the world stage. Since the program’s first foray into the world of crossover athletes at a camp that they hosted at Infinity Park in November 2020, you can see traces of the Raptors’ vision spreading throughout the highest levels of rugby in the country as several players have earned Major League Rugby…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Don’t look now, but the Toronto Arrows are making a strong final push for the postseason. Had they not put a stop to the New England Free Jacks 10-match win streak, they’d be making plans three weeks from now. Instead, they pulled off a big upset and have kept their postseason alive. Their biggest match of the year will take place this weekend. They have a huge opportunity to make up some ground and make a serious run at a playoff spot when they take on Rugby ATL, who sit in second place with 47 table…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. It’s about that time. Round 15 is officially in the books and the playoff picture is a little clearer than it was a week earlier. In the West, the Austin Gilgronis have officially punched their ticket to the post season while the Utah Warriors ensured that they will be observing this year’s playoff from home with a loss to the Houston SaberCats. In the East, the New England Free Jacks extended their Major League Rugby record winning streak to 10-straight matches and locked in a playoff spot. I’m almost positive that there will be a few…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. I’ve dedicated a few different sections of the column throughout the course of the season to the players that have earned 50 Major League Rugby caps, and I am going to write one more in this edition of the Grab Bag. Luke White became the thirteenth player in Major League Rugby history to hit the 50 cap mark when he took the pitch for the Los Angeles Giltinis on Sunday afternoon. https://twitter.com/usmlr/status/1523476790269816832?s=20&t=2B72yCwj0876LEPNcGupsg White was the captain of the Colorado Raptors in 2020, the club’s final season in Major League Rugby, but was around rugby in Colorado…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Since Major League Rugby was created the tail end of every season has mattered. The 2022 edition of MLR is shaping up to have another exciting home stretch, and that is great news for the fans. As it stands now, there are three teams vying for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and two teams with their eyes on the third playoff spot in the East. The San Diego Legion currently owns the third and final playoff spot in the West after a big victory over the Dallas Jackals in Round 13. The Seattle…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. If I’m being honest, I don’t have a ton to say about Round 12 in this week’s Grab Bag. I continue to be impressed by Rugby ATL, the New England Free Jacks, and the Austin Gilgronis, and I enjoyed watching the matches last weekend. As I’ll touch on a little further down the page, I am happy to see Old Glory D.C. pick up a few wins and I’m bummed to see the Dallas Jackals’ inaugural season slipping away from them. I’m excited to watch Rugby ATL and the L.A. Giltinis lock horns in Atlanta in…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Round 11 of Major League Rugby consisted of a little bit of everything. There were upsets, there were nailbiters, and there were blowouts. That’s what I’ve enjoyed about this competition since it’s been around. Every week is unpredictable, and that’s been the case since the league was created. Back at the midway point of the season, I wrote about how the fact that nearly every team still had a shot at the playoffs and how that makes the season more interesting for the fans. When there is something to play for, it is easier for a…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. A few weeks ago I wrote about how I appreciated the fact that the players that have achieved 50 Major League Rugby caps are receiving the praise that they deserve. I was reminded of that again this past weekend when Nick Boyer of the Houston SaberCats became the sixth player in MLR history to achieve 50 caps. https://twitter.com/usmlr/status/1513192081807790081?s=20&t=yJOf3uYsa9NiUQvRhLEHDQ I got to know Boyer a little bit when he played for the Colorado Raptors in 2020, and I’m glad to see him get recognized for it. He’s bounced around the league quite a bit. He spent his…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. With the conclusion of Round 9, we have officially hit the midway point of the 2022 Major League Rugby season. One thing I’ve liked about Major League Rugby since the league’s inception is the unpredictability. Every week is full or surprises, and that makes every week fun. The halfway point of the season is also usually when the contenders separate themselves from the pack. While there are certainly a few teams that have been consistently at the top of the table throughout the first half of the season, I enjoy the fact that almost every team…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. I was in Seattle this weekend for what has turned into an annual trip for me. I always make sure to catch a Seattle Seawolves match when I am in town. My first trip to Starfire Sports Complex came when I was on assignment for Major League Rugby over Easter weekend in 2019. The Seawolves were in the middle of their title defense, and they would have their hands full in a primetime game on Easter Sunday with a NOLA Gold team that barely missed the playoffs that season. That was my first taste of Starfire.…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Major League Rugby’s fifth season is in full swing. The halfway point is right around the corner, and it’s exciting as ever. If you look back to the Round 2 Grab Bag, I thought the MLR did a good job when it came to scheduling around the Super Bowl. I wrote that I thought the league could’ve done a better job ensuring that the players receive adequate amounts of rest, but overall I thought it was smart to spread the matches out across the weekend to ensure that they weren’t competing with the Super Bowl. Now…

Line Latu is grateful to be alive. If things had gone a little differently on the morning of June 6, 2021, the American Raptors fly-half knows that might not have been the case. A few weeks prior on May 22, The Colorado XOs – Glendale’s newly formed crossover academy – had just wrapped up their inaugural season with a match against the Los Angeles Giltinis Academy side. Latu, who was one of the only members of the XOs with prior rugby experience, was an integral piece of the team. He scored five tries in 10 matches to help the XOs secure a 5-5 record that spring, and played particularly well in the 33-31 loss to the Giltinis Academy on that…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. I saw an interesting piece on Amanda Windsor White, president of Rugby ATL, in Front Office Sports on Monday. Here are some interesting bullet points from the article: The league has collectively attracted over $100 million in investments, according to White. The annual average cost of operating a franchise is between $4 million and $6 million. Some of the 13 teams have already broken even. The expansion fee for a new team is $10 million. It’s cool to see this information out there. This is the stuff that fans have been wanting to get their hands on for a while but…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. The scenes in Hoboken, New Jersey looked incredible on Sunday afternoon. Rugby New York hosted the New England Free Jacks in what was their first home match of the season and their first match at JFK Stadium. The weather looked lovely, the match was exciting, and the fans in the stands were electric. What I enjoyed seeing most was the people turning their attention away from their tennis match or from their Sunday afternoon chores in their apartment and towards the rugby match. That’s the benefit of playing your matches in a high school football stadium…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. The month of the season is done and dusted and there have been quite a few surprises early on. I never would’ve guessed that the Warriors would be winless at this point in time. I also didn’t think that the Austin Gilgronis would be the only undefeated team in the Western Conference. That’s one thing I like about MLR. The results of each week are always a mystery. My Superbru record is the perfect indication of that. As with any sport, it’s not necessarily about how you start but rather how you finish. As we get…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Saturday is a rugby day for every other team in the country not named the Seattle Seawolves. Sundays are for the Seawolves. Did you know that in the 52 regular and post-season matches that the Seawolves have played since the club was born in 2018, 30 of those matches have taken place on Sunday? When the 2022 regular season is all said and done Seattle will have played four more matches on Sundays. Had the 2020 season not been canceled, they’d have been able to add seven more to that total. I’ve wondered out loud on…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Major League Rugby had the right idea when it came to scheduling its Round 2 fixtures. With the NFL adding another regular season game to its schedule, that means that the Super Bowl is going to take place later in February than usual. That also means that MLR has to find a way to make its schedule work around these changes. The solution this year was to play one match on Thursday night, one on Friday night, and four throughout the day on Saturday in order to leave Super Bowl Sunday wide open. As a fan,…

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