Scott Lawrence took Rugby ATL from an expansion team in the shortened 2020 season to an Major League Rugby Final in 2021. Could he replicate that success with another expansion side?
After Lawrence abruptly resigned from Atlanta nine days ago, the instant assumption was that Dallas would do everything in their power to sign him. We went as far as speculating that a marriage had been arranged before Lawrence even gave ATL his letter. Now, with the silence becoming deafening, its time to question whether Lawrence’s next team is yet to join the league.
The Sports Business Journal reveled in November that the MLR is in discussions with two teams about joining the league in 2023. That could lead to two suitors for Lawrence’s services.
Consider the recent history of expansion teams. Teams have typically brought in front office staff during the season prior to entry. Lawrence pulled double duty as General Manager and Head Coach in Atlanta. It would make plenty of sense to bring in Lawrence and let him start building a roster. He could even join a bid prior to acceptance on a consultancy basis. He’s been with an expansion side in the past. He’d have plenty to offer an ownership group, teaching them the ins and outs of running an MLR team. Then, once the bid is accepted, Lawrence would be the presumed Head Coach.
All of this assumes that there is at least one expansion team accepted for 2023 and that the team would be confident enough in their prospects to hire Lawrence in some capacity. As his surprising unemployment appears likely to draw into the season, it could be his best chance to build a team to his liking.