Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
A new professional Rugby League competition has been announced in North America, known as North America Rugby League.
The new league will kick off on the 19th of June, with the competition’s 12 clubs being split up into an Eastern and Western Conference.
One club, in particular, is making headlines, as former Super League side, the Toronto Wolfpack are confirmed to be joining the NARL’s Eastern Conference in 2022 alongside the Ottawa Aces, who they will be facing on the 21st of August in the Canada Cup.
We now know that the Wolfpack and the Aces will be a part of the NARL from 2022 onwards, but who will be competing in the inaugural season beginning in June?
Starting with the Eastern Conference, Monte Gaddis’ Cleveland Rugby League have found themselves a home in the NARL, and will be joined by three clubs from the USARL, including the 2019 USARL champions the Brooklyn Kings, who was last seen defeating the Jacksonville Axeman for the title in August 2019.
— North American Rugby League (@NARugbyLeague) March 31, 2021
Nick Newlin’s Atlanta Rhinos have also joined the new venture, with the 2017 USARL champions sporting a new look to boot, with the club who beat the Rhinos in the 2015 USARL Grand Final featuring in the NARL too in the Boston Thirteens.
Rounding out the Eastern Conference are the New York Rugby League club, who were seeking a future spot in the Rugby Football League’s League One competition, but have seemed to find a home in the NARL, and the Washington Calvary who are owned by USA International Ryan Burroughs.
Over in the Western Conference, we have the aptly named Portland Loggers, the Phoenix Venom, Austin Armadillos, Las Vegas Blackjacks, San Diego Swell and San Francisco Rush, who are all new clubs looking to make their mark in American Rugby League.
At this point, it is unclear as to how this will impact the upcoming USARL season, with more information likely to come soon.