Another review for rugby league in the USA

USARL player Bureta Faraimo

A review will be undertaken on how rugby league is run in the USA.

International Rugby League and the domestic governing body, USARL, have agreed a joint process to review the governance of the sport.

It follows a similar process back in 2014, when the USARL was chosen as governing body to replace the AMNRL.

Although the new North American Rugby League isn’t mentioned, the IRL statement references a “growing number of rugby league stakeholders in the United States.”

IRL chair, Troy Grant, said: “A key function of the international federation is to provide support for its members. So we were really pleased to enter into this partnership with USARL.

“I have previously commented on the importance of the USA to international rugby league. This opportunity to review the governance gives the sport the opportunity to ensure that the model accurately and effectively provides for the requirements of a major sport in the world’s largest sports market.”

The review will consider reforms in the unique context of the American sports landscape and involve input from interested parties.

In context

The USA has often had a fragmented approach to rugby league.

In 2009, a new professional league called NRLUS was announced but never got off the ground.

A breakaway of seven clubs from the AMNRL followed, forming a new competition, USARL.

It enjoyed momentous progress and attention at the 2013 World Cup; where they won through to a quarter-final against eventual winners Australia.

The Tomahawks had qualified for their first ever World Cup with wins over South Africa and Jamaica.

After beating France 22-18 in a World Cup warm-up, they beat Cook Islands and Wales to win their group.

But barely a year later, the Tomahawks brand that it had built in that tournament was relinquished as governance of the national team changed.

The USARL organisation has been the recognised governing body since 2014.

Previously, the national team sat under the control of AMNRL, which folded when USARL was recognised by the IRL.

In 2016, USA was granted host rights to the 2025 World Cup along with Canada, which it has since been stripped of.

England played a test match against New Zealand in Colorado in 2018 in front of a 19,320 crowd.

The USARL currently has nine clubs in its domestic competition.

A new North American Rugby League competition was announced last year, which hadn’t been sanctioned by the governing body.

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