The North American Rugby League (NARL) announced today that it will now launch in Spring of 2022.
In March 2021 the NARL made public their intention to bring professional rugby league to North America with the introduction of a new league and starting line up of 14 teams from across the United States and Canada.
The original launch date of June 19th, 2021 was scheduled; however, several factors have made this overly ambitious. Inflated travel insurance costs along with rigorous health and safety restrictions have already seen a need to rationalize the proposed structure for the West Coast, and now the NARL has taken the prudent and measured steps of delaying the full competition until the Spring of 2022.
The NARL understands the importance of optimal delivery in every aspect of the competition for its founding year and will take this opportunity for organizational restructuring as well as welcoming new board members and investors into the fold.
This additional time will also benefit the sponsors. The competition has attracted a number of global brands who are extremely enthusiastic to partner with the NARL since we announced the launch earlier this year. This extension will allow these partnerships to be developed and delivered with a more targeted and measured approach.
The NARL Chief Operating Officer Robert Curtis stated, “We as an organization came forward with tremendous enthusiasm and relentless motivation. In the process we were greeted by an incredible response from supporters and rugby league fans who wished us well and were excited to see the development of professional rugby league in North America.
“In our desire to meet the expectations of this new and dynamic attention for the sport we are so eager to grow, we tried to rush operations to put teams on the pitch too early. We are thankful for our amazing fans for their support right out of the gate, we never expected to be embraced so well, so quickly. Moving forward our focus is on creating the best possible product for Spring 2022; exceeding expectations, showcasing the best rugby league, and creating an experience your loyalty deserves.”
The NARL is committed to supporting all clubs in building their organizations and developing their player pools both internationally and domestically. The new schedule gives teams ten extra months to coach and cultivate their talent and bring awareness of the game to more sports fans across North America. The NARL and its parties will continue to share their progress and news, as well as their much anticipated online stores launching the next few months in preparation for the 2022 inaugural season.
Curtis concluded, “This has been a difficult decision for all involved. We understand that there has been an overwhelming amount of work, support, and cheerleading from independent parties outside of the organization. We apologize for the disappointment this announcement will bring and thank you, from the league and on behalf of our clubs for your understanding, patience, and continued commitment to growing our great sport in North America and Canada.
This league and the expansion of the game are very important to all of us. And we believe it is essential we do it right even if that means delaying until next year.”
However, in spite of the postponement it looks like it will remain a busy Summer for the sport in North America. There are plans to host a number of exhibition games in the US, and the Canada Cup clash between Ottawa and Toronto will be sure to give fans a taste of what is to come next year while the NARL continues to work with the Canadian Rugby League, USARL, and the international rugby league to purse their goals for 2022.
Media Release North American Rugby League