New rugby sevens series ‘RFL’ to launch in 2022

A new rugby sevens series is set to launch next year in the US.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) is led by CEO Philippe Bourdarias, the former World Rugby competition general manager. It will combine 12 international teams with four US franchises competing for an initial prize pot of US$1 million.

The league said that the RFL will transition to 16 domestic teams competing with select international sides across 17 tournaments by 2026, with the aim to add four new teams and four new events per year between 2023-2026.

The organisers promised that the RFL will combine “the energy of Rugby Sevens events with the excitement of the Kentucky Derby experience.”

Bourdarias said: “The RFL is an amazing development for the game of Rugby in the US. There is a huge appetite for Rugby Sevens events in the US, as shown by the record breaking RWC Sevens 2018 in San Francisco and the success of the Las Vegas Sevens over the years. We feel that there is a huge growth opportunity for the RFL and Franchises with an innovative model whereby the League centralises all expenses and rights, leaving the fun side of the League (managing the teams) to the Franchisees.”

The league will also have support from former European Rugby Cup (Heineken Cup), Paddy Power and Racing Post executive Eugene Delaney and former Las Vegas Sevens organiser Rob Cornelius.

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