US Rugby Sevens League To Debut, To Feature Male And Female Olympians
ounder and CEO of the premier rugby sevens (PR7s), Owen Scannell, is preparing the idea of launching the new sports league in the United States (US), with the potential of featuring a number of Olympic-bound players from US men’s and women’s national teams.
Having made its Olympic debut in 2016, Scannell is looking for a format to PR7s similar to the Premier Lacrosse League: a single-entity league with a tour-based circuit model, where men’s and women’s teams will play multiple games in one location over a festival-style weekend.
The debut of the competition is expected later in the year, with the aim of both men’s and women’s teams to get paid equally in the first full season in 2022.
Speaking on the announcement, Scannell said sevens is the ideal format for a US sport.
“Rugby is a great participation sport, but it can at times be difficult to understand,” Scannell said.
“It has complicated rules.
“In thinking about how we make rugby succeed in the US, one of the angles I kept coming back to was sevens.
“Sevens effectively removes many of the knowledge barriers to entry for rugby.
“Then it came down to finding a model that fits this fast-paced, very short game into an entertainment product that works for both broadcast and a live entertainment experience,” he said.
The first full-season, predicted to be in the second half of 2022, will likely include eight weekends across the US and potentially Canada, with Scannell highlighting the positives of a domestic league: “This is a great opportunity for them to play more domestically, especially kind of with the unbelievably brutal travel schedules of the players going to destinations in the international circuit.”