For years a goal for the sport of rugby, whether it be rugby union or rugby sevens, was to bring the game to the United States and have it flourish. Months ago Premier Rugby teamed up with NFL Network and then NBC Sports Network agreed to start showing games on their network.
Recently, the transition of rugby into America took a step back. Rugby Law, which has been working with the NFL Network to initiate the popularity of rugby in America announced recently that they have postponed their American Exhibition series at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. in August. The game has been postponed at least a year. The game was to feature American grown players paired with contracted overseas players against the Aviva Premiership’s London Irish.
“Rugby Law will not proceed with the Independence Cup game on August 10, 2013, at Gillette Stadium, given that the time from the conclusion of the required contracts to the game date is not sufficient to meet the strategic goals of Rugby Law,” said Rugby Law through a press release.
This event had the potential to propel rugby into the forefront of American sports. A game featuring American players against a team from overseas would have been an event to draw in a lot of fans. Not to mention, Gillette Stadium is home to one of the most successful franchises in American sports, the New England Patriots.
With this event being pushed back at least a year, it makes one wonder when rugby will have their time to shine in America. It will be hard to see rugby surpass the professional sports in America like the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and the National Hockey League. However one could see rugby surpassing both Major League Soccer and Major League Lacrosse.
Their is a lot of potential for rugby to grow and flourish in the states, but in order for that to happen the right people have to be dedicated to this sport and want to take it to the forefront. Only time will tell.
Rugby can succeed in America, especially rugby sevens. After watching the college championships last weekend and seeing how fast paced the game was, made it hard to change the channel. This game can flourish. It will just take a little more time.