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USA Rugby opens door to possible expansions from abroad, but 'reiterates support' for domestic league

‘Any outside competition would have to align within the strategy and plan we are developing.’

Image: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

USA RUGBY HAVE today appeared to publicly welcome interest from foreign organisations such as the Pro12, who have broached the possibility of expanding to a trans-Atlantic competition.

Before the beginning of the Pro12 season, managing director Martin Anayi told The42 that the existing cross-border nature of the competition meant expanding stateside would be a more natural move.

USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne made sure to underline a commitment to the fledgling PRO Rugby North America league, but is clearly also keen to explore the possibility of linking up with a foreign league in a statement made today.

“Although we commit to leaving no stone unturned when it comes to reviewing opportunities to build awareness and participation in our country, it’s important that we reiterate the support we have toward PRO Rugby North America after successfully completing their first season.

“Any outside competition would have to align within the strategy and plan we are developing that is focused on growing the game within our borders.”

Payne adds that he is 100% committed to working with the league to ensure its continued growth, but adds the important caveat:

“This includes the manner in which we would evaluate if and how any outside competition interested in entering our country might impact those efforts.

“Any future international expansion would be strategically coordinated within our overall plan and also benefit our partners by growing awareness, rising the overall tide, etc., or it wouldn’t make sense.”

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Sean Farrell

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