As the Super Bowl dominated news coverage in the United States like it typically does, it unsurprisingly also overshadowed what might otherwise have caught the attention of some sports fans stateside .. news of yet another start-up rugby league competition.
This one is called Rugby League United (RLU).
It will consist of four teams in the country’s northeast. The Brooklyn Kings, Delaware Black Foxes, Boston 13s and DC Cavalry will play in their own independent competition.
“We just wanted to be able to have control of what we are doing in the northeast,” Ian Ferguson of the Delaware team tells Rugby League Planet in answer to why they’re setting up their own competition as opposed to playing in the USA Rugby League North Conference.
“Talking with the other teams, we felt that this is the best course of action to take at this time. We’re not opposed to competing in friendlies against other leagues.”
All bar the DC club were previously part of the North Conference but have gone their separate ways in recent years for a variety of reasons.
Brooklyn, Boston and the Cavalry all signed on to compete in the failed North American Rugby League (NARL) which made a big song and dance about establishing the first professional rugby league competition in the US in 2021, however, after several false starts and failed relaunches it eventually flopped and has dropped off the sporting radar.
The Black Foxes persisted with the USARL’s domestic club competition through the end of the 2021 season, then took part in some exhibition games last year as the North Conference all but ground to a halt.
“We want to be as supportive as we can, and I wish them all the best,” says USARL LLC chair Drew Slover. “They’re good guys and I hope we can come together at some point.
“I’ve not got the impression that they really understand the whole dynamic of the national governing body. To my knowledge, they don’t have any intention of joining USARL, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” he says in reference to the governance review of rugby league in America that was conducted in 2022 in tandem with the International Rugby League (IRL).
The new RLU competition is due to kick off in June and will run through August.