Experts (Men) and Loonies (Women) Win First Championships Live on Fox Sports
MEMPHIS, TN – Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) officially launched their new league on Oct. 9, marking several firsts within the sports industry and rugby community. As the first U.S. sports league to launch with men and women earning equal pay, PR7s also broke gender barriers in the rugby community as the first professional women’s rugby league in North America. Supported by six league sponsors, 18 games were broadcast live in a single day via Fox Sports in the United States, TSN in Canada, and Facebook Watch around the world.
“This is only the beginning,” said Owen Scannell, CEO of Premier Rugby Sevens. “What started as an idea early in the pandemic became a reality on Saturday thanks to a team of incredibly talented staff, athletes, coaches, broadcast partners, sponsors, and fans. We will reveal our 2022 plans soon and look forward to growing PR7s into a league that offers both women and men an opportunity to compete at the highest level. Thousands of fans experienced the excitement live in the stadium and thousands more consumed it live on televisions, tablets, and cell phones thanks to our partners at Fox Sports and TSN. An incredible foundation is in place and we’re ready to grow our league with more cities and events next year.”
Fifteen Olympians from the 2020 Olympic Games competed in the inaugural event. With 120 total players, six men’s teams and four women’s teams debuted in Memphis. Led by rugby legend Perry Baker, the Experts won the first PR7s men’s championship. And as one of the most dominant players in the world, Alev Kelter led the Loonies to the first women’s championship. Competing in games that last 14 minutes, the two champions played four times each en route to their titles on Saturday. Full game results can be view at PRSevens.com/results.
Samurai Sportswear, Kane Innovations, Inc., Sperry Rail, Inc., Campbell Clinic, Ghost River Brewing Co., and Memphis Tourism sponsored the inaugural event. The partnerships included jersey logos for Kane Innovations and Sperry Rail. Ghost River Brewing sponsored the daylong festival.
PR7s features six men’s teams and four women’s teams that play multiple games in one location on a single day. Team brands include the Loonies (men and women), the Loggerheads (men and women), the Experts (men and women), the Headliners (men and women), the Locals (men), and the Team (men).
The league’s first captains featured stars from both the Men’s and Women’s U.S. Olympic Rugby Sevens teams, including Perry Baker (Experts men), Danny Barrett (Team men), Abby Gustaitis, (Loggerheads women), Alev Kelter (Loonies women), Matai Leuta (Locals men), Folau Niua (Headliners men), Naya Tapper, (Headliners women), Stephen Tomasin, (Loonies men) and Kevon Williams (Loggerheads men).
About Premier Rugby Sevens
Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) is a groundbreaking professional sports league in North America that debuted on Oct. 9, 2021, on Fox Sports and TSN. PR7s is the first league of its kind with both women’s teams and men’s teams under one umbrella with equal pay. With a focus on accessibility and entertaining content for fans, the league showcases the electrifying sport of rugby sevens through a single-day touring format in cities across the United States and Canada. To learn more about Premier Rugby Sevens, go to PRSevens.com and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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