Toronto Wolfpack and Ottawa Aces will take part in a new North American professional rugby league competition that has been launched today.
The NARL will be a 14-team competition that will play its first round of games on the weekend of June 19 in Brooklyn and June 20 in Las Vegas.
Teams from across the USA and Canada will compete in three conferences – the East Coast Conference, the West Coast Conference and the Canada Cup.
Atlanta Rhinos, Boston Thirteens, Brooklyn Kings, Cleveland Rugby League, New York Rugby League and Washington Cavalry will be in the East Coast Conference.
In the West Coast Conference will be Austin Armadillos, Las Vegas Blackjacks, Phoenix Venom, Portland Loggers, San Diego Swell and San Francisco Rush.
Due to COVID regulations, a Canada Cup will be played between Toronto Wolfpack and Ottawa Aces before the teams enter the East Coast Conference in 2022.
All games will be broadcast on NARL’s exclusive online streaming partner Sportsflick. Due to COVID regulations in 2021, all games will be played in a single venue that will see all teams in their respective conference play in one stadium on one day with no fans to keep everyone safe.
— North America Rugby League (@NARugbyLeague) March 31, 2021
NARL’s chief operating officer Robert Curtis said: “I’m delighted to introduce the North America Rugby League to rugby league fans around the world in what we firmly believe is the next big evolutionary step for rugby league.
“The NARL is the culmination of years of research and market testing and has been designed to bring you the hardest hitting, fastest and most exciting sport on the planet. Matches begin this summer. It’s time to get excited about a new class of contact sport.
“We see NARL as an addition to the existing rugby league structures in the United States and certainly do not see ourselves as a ‘rival’ or ‘rebel’ league. Our sole aim is to grow the fantastic sport of rugby league in North America and create a legacy for generations to come.”