Major League Rugby is due to expand its geographical reach with the introduction of an Hawaii-based team in 2021 owned by four former All Blacks.
MLR announced in a statement that it had received an expansion bid from the Kanaloa Hawai’i group and that the initial application for membership has been accepted.
Kanaloa Hawai’i now has 90 days to finalise terms and meet the league’s expansion benchmarks before being ratified by a board vote to be formally admitted.
The statement read: “MLR received and reviewed thorough plans presented for a team in the Hawai’i market. The group of professionals developing the opportunity are extremely knowledgeable and experienced.
“They have developed and presented an in-depth approach that ingrains the rich rugby history in Hawai’i and MLR can confirm that this has the potential to become a strong and unique market within the League.”
The group of professionals has since been announced as former All Blacks Jerome Kaino, John Afoa, Joe Rokocoko and Benson Stanley.
— Scotty Stevenson (@sumostevenson) July 10, 2020
If all terms are met, Kanaloa Hawai’i would become the 14th member for the 2021 MLR season.