Dallas Jackals Add Grand Prairie Mavericks as D1 Affiliate
The Dallas Jackals are happy to announce Grand Prairie Mavericks Rugby has joined as a D1 Affiliate Club. Along with fellow Affiliate Clubs Dallas RFC and Dallas Harlequins RFC, Grand Prairie will play a key role in extending the performance pathway for domestic players.
The Dallas Jackals and the three affiliate clubs share a common goal of increasing rugby awareness and participation in DFW. Since developing domestic talent is key to the growth of the sport and Major League Rugby, the affiliation will help create a viable performance pathway for athletes who aspire to become professional rugby players.
Grand Prairie Rugby started in 1982 as University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) Rugby eventually transitioning to a Men’s Club in the 1990’s and have been playing in Grand Prairie for over the past 20 years. Recently, Grand Prairie was promoted to D1 status for the upcoming 2021/22 TRU season. The club supports two men’s teams, D1 and D3, and a D3 women’s side.
Club President John Kurylas said, “The club has always strived to play competitive rugby as we have been working hard to get where we can compete with the top teams not only in Texas, but in the country. The growth of the club, additions to the coaching staff and more off the pitch support which includes our Women’s side, has allowed us to get to this point a little earlier than planned but we are definitely up for the challenge. We are excited to be a D1 Affiliate Club of the Dallas Jackals and look forward to working with the Jackals to help grow the game in the DFW area.”
Working with the affiliate clubs allows for the exploration of securing additional game time for the Jackals’ Development Players at the Division 1 level. The Jackals will also extend further support and development opportunities to the club’s players and coaches. As the Development Players develop their skills and as the need arises, they will have the opportunity to be called up to compete with the MLR squad.
General Manager Elaine Vassie, who spearheads the Jackals’ high performance pathway and was instrumental in forging the affiliations said, “Grand Prairie has made hugely positive strides in growing their club, their work in the community, and their on field performance over the previous few seasons. To have them now stepping into D1 and joining our other two D1 affiliates is a real benefit to the player pathway in DFW.”
The Jackals Development Program allows domestic-based rugby players to fully immerse themselves within the high performance program as they aspire to secure professional rugby contracts. Every week the Development Players will train on and off the pitch with the professional players gaining valuable skills and experience.
Thus far, five Development Players have been announced including local players Matt Frings and Kelly “Spike” Kolberg and Tayé Olagunju, Timmy Ohlwein, and Nate Lyon.
Welcome to the Pack Grand Prairie Mavericks!
About Dallas Jackals —
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 2022. 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.
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