MLR Power Rankings: Round 0

With the Major League Rugby season just days away, its time to unveil our initial MLR Power Rankings. Rankings are largely based on how we think teams stack against each other after considering off-season moves.

1. LA Giltinis

America’s best somehow got better. For a bit of reference, Luke Carty has started tests at 10 for the Eagles, but he’s most likely to wear the 22 shirt for LA. Exciting for LA fans. Less exciting for Eagles fans.

2. Rugby New York

The tight five in New York is terrifying. The age experience of the back line could either take them all the way or leave them vulnerable to disappointment.

3. Austin Gilgronis

Austin could do everything except cross the goal line in 2021. Adding Julián Domínguez and Mark O’Keeffe could be the difference.

4. NOLA Gold

The old saying of ‘the forwards decide who wins and the backs decide by how much’ could work well for NOLA. Assuming they don’t need a large points differential.

5. Seattle Seawolves

Allen Clarke got a head start building this team after taking over halfway through the 2021 season. Now, with a core signed on long term deals, they’ll have a jump at pushing for the playoffs.

6. Utah Warriors

The Cardiac Kids of 2021 are going to learn that, eventually, the heart gives out.

7. Rugby ATL

A championship appearance has turned to dysfunction. Gone is Scott Lawrence and Adriaan Carelse. In is a sudden promotion for Steve Brett without adding a new assistant to take his place. There’s a real chance the playoffs will be out of reach.

8. San Diego Legion

Danny lee steps in to coach a side that couldn’t get a break in 2021. Will Hooley could take over at 10, but the loss of Psalm Wooching to bigger and better things in the ProD2 will be hard to replace, even if Chris Robshaw can stay healthy and Dan Pryor plays the whole year.

9. Toronto Arrows

This could be the most foolish ranking by the end of the year, but Toronto is in a strange place. After a terrible 2021, Canada failed to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023. Former Arrows, such have Ben Lesage, have scattered. Is this largely Canadian side ready to go when there’s no meaningful tests coming for several years? It could be a Canadian rugby collapse, or they could all switch focus to the Arrows. If this team finishes first, last, or anywhere in between, I won’t be stunned.

10. New England Free Jacks

After a slow growth through 2021, a coaching change could set this side back. There’s good pieces in the back line, but the forwards leave little to love. Its a young crew that could do well with a few years together, but a few months won’t do the trick.

11. Houston SaberCats

Houston seems interested in an Austin style overhaul, and their roster certainloy has the talent to make some magical moments. They have the makings of a late playoff push, but there will be some stumbles along the way.

12. Old Glory DC

In a year where many teams got better, DC just kinda sat there. As a consequence, they’ll also be sitting out the playoffs.

13. Dallas Jackals

This team has legitimate talent, especially in the back line. However, bringing an expansion side together while searching for a head coach doesn’t exactly scream ‘title contender’. They might have a decent second half in them, but this team needs to focus on getting off the ground.

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