The Dallas Jackals are a professional rugby team of Major League Rugby (MLR), the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The Jackals were named as an expansion team in 2020 and will play their inaugural season in 2021. The team’s central mission is to develop domestic talent to a world-class level of play and professionalism while strengthening the high performance pathway in DFW by supporting the local clubs. Through proactive Community Outreach, the Jackals will exemplify and spread the passion of rugby by inspiring tradition, respect, family, and character on and off the pitch.
HISTORY OF RUGBY IN DFW
With 25 local rugby clubs in the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth Area, DFW has a strong and very successful history of rugby. From the youth rugby clubs to amateur rugby union clubs to college programs, DFW has proven time and time again the ability to produce great rugby talent.
In 1969, the first official rugby club was established. Known as the Dallas Rugby Football Club, or The Reds, was a charter member of the Texas Rugby Football Union and a member of the USA Rugby Football Union. Dallas RFC has always been a driving force in the growth of rugby in DFW and three of the seven clubs in the Dallas area branched off from the club.
Two years later, the Dallas Harlequins RFC was created. In 1972, the Harlequins joined the Texas Rugby Union and became the first club to win a match against an opponent from outside the United States when they defeated Baillou Club from Nassau, Bahamas.
With continued growth of the sport, Dallas rugby will continue to gain popularity and fans. The City of Dallas can be proud to say that it is an epicenter of rugby talent and that great things are to come with the MLR and Jackals.
MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY
In 2017, the MLR was formed and had their first season in the Spring of 2018. MLR was the first American sporting league to have a national television deal, with CBS Sports Network, prior to their launch. The league initially consisted of 7 teams; Austin Gilgronis, Colorado Raptors, Houston SaberCats, NOLA Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves and Utah Warriors.
Over the next two seasons, Rugby United New York, Toronto Arrows, Rugby ATL, Old Glory DC and the New England Free Jacks joined the league. With the expansion of Dallas and Los Angeles and Colorado leaving the league, today the MLR has grown to a 13 team league dispersed across 9 states and 2 countries.
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