USA Rugby League

Not surprisingly, the global pandemic has claimed yet another sporting scalp by forcing a delay to the much anticipated and historic start of the new USA Women’s Rugby League (USAWRL) program.

Established in 2019 as the only women’s competition endorsed by USA Rugby League LLC, which is the governing body for the American domestic clubs competition, the USAWRL had planned to get things rolling this year in preparation for 2021.

The national program had been penciled in to open with a development camp in Austin, Texas, in November, which also was to have incorporated a 9s tournament, along with a 13-a-side women’s East versus West All-Star game.

However, as has been the case all through the Americas, and many other parts of the rugby league world for that matter in 2020, COVID-19 has brought a premature end to those plans.

“We stopped all activity at the beginning of October as there was a mix of opportunity around in certain areas but we had to can them as the uncertainty continued to rise,” USAWRL Inc chair Garen Casey told Rugby League Planet.

“We had too many cancelations so it was determined that a hold on all activities would be best for everyone and then regroup early in 2021, in February/March, at the American Rugby Pro Training Center (ARPTC) in Arkansas.

“That will be confirmed before the end of the year.”

At this stage, 2021 is slated to open with a domestic 9s tournament to be held in March or April with the women’s national teams to then compete at the Americas 9s tournament and the rescheduled Americas Championship.

The USAWRL has already begun efforts this year to establish women’s rugby league in various parts of the US including Chicago, New York, Florida, Utah, Texas, Los Angeles and Hawaii.

USAWRL Inc will be a non-profit organisation which opens up the potential to drive corporate sponsorship. Its partners are launching ‘rugby’ specific supplements to support the players and financially support the game’s development domestically.

Brian is a strong and effective communicator with more than 30 years’ experience in broadcast and electronic media. He has been writing for Rugby League Planet since 2012 and is frequently the first reporter to break news stories about the sport. He has been our North American correspondent reporting on news in the US, Canada and Jamaica covering everything from league standings to strategy analysis to breaking news on key trades to editorials and colourful features on athletes. He is now writing about rugby league on a broader scale to cover developments around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Brian started his career in Australian radio, before moving to the United States. He is an experienced podcast host and producer and is also a successful TV commentator having done play-by-play and analysis for ESPN, FOX Sports and the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) among others. Brian has his own YouTube channel @brianlowe5567 where he posts his interviews for Rugby League Planet. Be sure to check it out and subscribe.