3 Things: League One Missing, 7s Returns, and NARL May Really Happen

After a weekend of Champions Cup rugby in Europe, we’ve made the weird choice to focus on rugby that you either couldn’t see or that hasn’t happened yet. You could call us ‘unusual’, ‘odd’, or simply ‘strange’. However, we prefer the sitcom term ‘quirky’.

Anyway…

Don’t Pretend You Watch League One This Weekend

None of us did. After a first round that sat social media on fire, The Rugby Network didn’t end up giving us anything to salivate over in round two. More curious was the fact that the streamer posted countdown placeholders on Thursday. Instead, the placeholders were simply removed. To top it all off, the round one archives have vanished as well.

If we’ve lost access, it will be an absolute travesty. League One provides several things to the American rugby landscape. First, it provides a glimpse into a higher level of the game in a country where the quality is rising but not near the level of more established competitions. Second, it provides content to TRN that could, theoretically, provide ad revenue with some tweaks to the simulcast agreement with Stan Sports. Third, it provides an alternative to the Premiership at a time when NBC is pushing England and Europe to a higher level of exposure. At a time where the future of American rights for other competitions is starting to bubble, (including Eagles coverage after the FloRugby deal expires in 2024,) TRN needs to find out whether there’s a market for non-MLR content.

International 7s is Back

The only question is ‘how long will it last?’

The next two weekends will see both the men’s and women’s competitions head to Malaga and Seville, respectively. Both Spanish rounds are expected to go through despite some sides pulling out. New Zealand remains out of the competitions due to travel restrictions. Germany will take their spot in the men’s competition, while Belgium gets a chance to shine in the women’s.

Savor this 7s fans. It could be all you see for a while.

Chatter has started that the next two rounds of the men’s competition (Vancouver and Los Angeles) are set to be postponed, if not cancelled, due to the ongoing omicron surge and travel restrictions. April’s legs (Singapore for men, Langford for women) could also be in jeopardy, but there’s more time before that determination has to be made.

Time will tell whether further schedule changes are required, but its hard to picture this being a championship without an asterisk. Again.

North American Rugby League Looking Likely

If you’ve forgotten about/never heard of/choose not to acknowledge the fledgling North American Rugby League, I have news.

The NARL, which was expected to launch in 2021, is set to debut in 2022. Five of the six initial teams are announced. The expectation for the inaugural campaign is a traveling tournament setup similar to that of the Premier Lacrosse League and Premier Rugby Sevens.

Much remains unknown about the NARL. We’ll pass along updates if they seem relevant/of interest.

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