• Super Rugby Eyes Expansion into the United States

    It seems as though SANZAAR might be pinning its hopes on the creation of a conference composed of U.S. teams, an “American Conference,” if you will, to get the current competition off life support and onto the positive side of the ledger.

    Rugby is growing in the U.S., faster, some say, than the waistlines of most Americans, where obesity is now considered an epidemic. There is a big match scheduled for June in Denver that will pit the All Blacks against England. Rugby is quite popular at the collegiate level and there is a growing number of clubs where players get together to chug beer and sing bawdy songs.

    It is quite possible, should Super Rugby’s plans for an American Conference come to fruition, that we will soon see aging professional gridironers pull a reverse Jarryd Hayne, and hop codes to rugby when they can no longer find gainful employment in the National Football League.

    We wonder how long it will take some enterprising billionaire, one who has been shut out of the exclusive fraternities of ownership of one of the four major sports leagues in the U.S., will figure out that he/she has the financial resources to simply purchase New Zealand and take over the All Blacks as part of the bargain.

    It sounds far-fetched and in the future, but the future is now, as the Americans are launching Major League Rugby this year.

    That sucking noise you hear is the sound of rugby players from the other countries flocking to the U.S., with its streets paved of gold, although to most living there, a Kiwi is an exotic fruit that has no discernible purpose.

    Major League Rugby has a deal with major television network CBS to broadcast rugby games, so it is not just players, but coaches and administrators who might be applying for work visas.

    CBS has a share of the broadcast rights for the NFL and the PGA Tour, but thus far, no competitive bidders looking for a slice of the rugby pie.