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Major League Rugby Announces 2021 Season Schedule

Major League Rugby (MLR) announces its 2021 season schedule, beginning with matches on March 20, 2021. Entering its fourth season, MLR features 13 teams competing throughout North America over 18 weeks. The conclusion of the regular season brings the MLR Championship Series, with the top two seeds from each conference qualifying for the postseason. The playoffs culminate with the Championship Final on August 1.

“We are very excited to return to the pitch for Major League Rugby’s fourth season in North America,” said MLR Commissioner George Killebrew. “The 2021 season will be a celebration, with a focus on the fans and their passion for the game. We’ve expanded to 13 teams and look forward to some spirited competition, and further growth of the rugby community. We can’t wait for March 20 to get here.”

The 13 teams are split into two conferences. The Eastern Conference features six teams (Rugby ATL, New England Free Jacks, NOLA Gold, Old Glory DC, Rugby United New York, Toronto Arrows) while the Western Conference features seven teams (Austin Gilgronis, Dallas Jackals, Houston SaberCats, LA Giltinis, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Utah Warriors). Each team plays a 16-game regular season schedule, with two bye weeks each.

Opening weekend on March 20 features a 3 p.m. ET matinee in New Orleans, as NOLA Gold hosts Old Glory DC. Other highlights of the League’s opening day include the Dallas Jackals’ inaugural game at Los Angeles, and Austin Gilgronis hosting the 2019 champion Seattle Seawolves.

Other notable games for the regular season include:

• March 27: Southern rivalry – NOLA hosts Rugby ATL
• April 3: Dallas’ first-ever home match vs. NOLA
• April 3: First Texas tilt — Houston at Austin
• April 3: New England’s first-ever home match vs. Northeast rivals New York
• May 16: A rematch of the 2019 Championship Final — Seattle at San Diego
• May 23: 2019 playoff foes meet – Toronto at Seattle
• May 30: San Diego hosts Los Angeles in first California battle

The entire MLR regular season schedule is linked here.

Like many major professional sports around the globe, MLR adjusted its 2020 season schedule due to the pandemic and turned its attention to ensuring the league would rebound with a strong showing in 2021. League and team officials have been diligently working to build strong rosters and enhance the fan experience for the upcoming season.

MLR has a COVID Task Force made up of medical advisors and League officials that is dedicated to setting policies and procedures that ensure the safety of athletes, fans, and staff. MLR will continue to consult with the COVID Task Force, medical advisors, teams and players, to always put safety first when making decisions as the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve.

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