Do Not Sell My Personal Information
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Friday Jan 6, 2017

After just one season, the future of PRO Rugby in the USA is uncertain

After just one season, the future of PRO Rugby in the USA is uncertain

With a second year of PRO Rugby in America still up in the air, we address a few of the issues and challenges it has faced, and take a quick look back with a video highlighting the best plays from the inaugural season.

It’s safe to say that there have been some serious growing pains for America’s maiden professional rugby competition. With one team – San Francisco – now defunct, there are some rather stinging accusations coming from both sides that contracts and sanctions have not been honoured. 

Players, announcers, and even vendors are claiming they are owed thousands of dollars from PRO Rugby CEO Doug Schoninger. Some have gone so far as to file suit in small claims court.

Former All Black Mils Muliaina, formerly of San Francisco, is claiming to still be owed $20,000 from Schoninger. Muliaina also had some particulary strong words for the setup overall:

“There was a lot said that they didn’t provide… I really actually felt for the people, they were really trying hard to make something like this… Unfortunately, in this instance you’ve got some really bad people trying to run something that they don’t know how to run.”

For his part, Schoninger takes exception to the overall attitude of some of his players, Muliaina specifically. According to his interview with Rugby Wrap Up, he claims that Muliaina showed up later than originally agreed upon, played a couple of games, then left without leave to go back to New Zealand for a week. 

He also states that Mils was claiming to be injured and, per disability laws in the United States and the state of California, the $20,000 is being filed through disability.

Schoninger also took exception to numerous players participating in unsanctioned events they claim to have had permission to attend. He claims otherwise and that he and former USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville had a signed sanctions agreement.

Apparently, things have never been smooth between USA Rugby and PRO Rugby, to say the least. According to this interview, Melville never attended any PRO Rugby matches and only one match was attended by the US Eagles head coach.

Conditions escalated further when PRO Rugby effectively blamed USA Rugby in invoking their Voluntary Termination clause (section5(b)). Of course, USA Rugby categorically denied all accusations.

As the finger pointing and internet exchanges continue, one could assume these are the kinds of issues that may potentially arise at the outset of any professional league. However, the future does not look particularly bright as the news emerging continues to be more and more unsettling. 

It remains to be seen when, or even if, there will be a second season for PRO Rugby. Schoninger claims they are here to stay and that he’s already lined up another squad to replace San Francisco. 

Continued rugby growth in the states seems forever just one bounce away. Here’s hoping things can come together and vastly improve at all levels to actually see this dream fulfilled.

Credit: PRO Rugby

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 72 WEEKS AGO

    scottish prop saves fire victim

  • 76 WEEKS AGO

    New Rugby X tournament insane

  • 103 WEEKS AGO

    Vunipola stands by his comments supporting...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Beauden Barrett scores 25 points in 20 minutes for Suntory in Japan Top League

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: The Victor Vito offload fans have been raving about in Champions Cup quarter-final

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    MUST WATCH: Awesome compilation of the best tries ever scored at the Millennium Stadium

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Awesome compilation showcases the GREATEST tries ever scored at Twickenham

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: 135kg prop lines up swan dive from 20 metres out... then re-thinks

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Powerhouse Tongan Thor leaves opposition on his arse with HUGE handoff

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Amazing highlights reel demonstrates why Tadhg Furlong MUST go on the British & Irish Lions tour this Summer

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Tackle deemed to be at the top end of the scale as winger receives heavy ban

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Scottish prop cops ban after clumsy head contact against England

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Nigel Owens reacts to THAT clear out on Faf de Klerk

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Beauden Barrett scores 25 points in 20 minutes for Suntory in Japan Top League

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Amazing highlights reel demonstrates why Tadhg Furlong MUST go on the British & Irish Lions tour this Summer

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    'Bakkies Botha is the greatest player in the world that I have coached' - Bernard Laporte

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Sensational John Afoa skills compilation shows that props aren't just beef

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Mike Brown opens up on brutal nature of his departure from Harlequins

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Comedy gold as Toronto lock attempts clearance kick in MLR match featuring Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: 135kg prop lines up swan dive from 20 metres out... then re-thinks

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Bizarre standoff in Super Rugby tests players on their rulebook knowledge

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Flanker has HOWLER in Super Rugby Aotearoa after butchering awesome solo try

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Ridiculous 10-minute montage shows why Joe Marler is probably the funniest man in rugby

View All

Amateur

  • 23 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 60 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 60 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 60 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 61 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 20 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

  • 20 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath prop launches Amazon documentary focused on those from non-traditional backgrounds

View All
After just one season, the future of PRO Rugby in the USA is uncertain | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos