Dallas Jackals Announce Coaching Adjustment Due To Covid Related Immigration Delays In Australia
The Dallas Jackals are saddened to announce the club and intended Head Coach Michael Hodge have mutually decided that the Visa processing delays in Australia have proven to be untenable for Hodge to serve as the Jackals’ head coach.
With an approved Visa in hand, the original intended arrival date for Hodge was a month ago. However, with strict travel restrictions within Australia still in place and stricter emergency appointment and interview waiver criteria than other nations, the earliest consulate appointment dates are several months out. Unfortunately, the immigration realities in Australia have caused numerous challenges for many teams in Major League Rugby.
Jackals players arrived in late December and training camp officially started on January 3rd. Coach Hodge had been valiantly trying to coach remotely, including daily video calls and check-ins with on the ground coaching staff and players. Upon consultation with many, with no likely path to an earlier Visa interview than June, for the best interests of the team the hard decision was made to make other coaching arrangements.
Dallas Jackals Rugby wish nothing but the best to Coach Hodge in his future endeavors and thank him for his passion for the Jackals.
Concurrent with the search for Hodge’s successor, GM Elaine Vassie, Assistant Coach Aaron Jarvis, Strength & Conditioning Coach Matoko Noudehou, Coaching Consultant Brian Ashton, and Performance & Recruitment Analyst Darren Lewis will continue to lead the charge on preparing the team up for the 2022 Inaugural Season.
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.
About MLR —
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fifth season and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2022, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, and ESPN+, among other national and local market platforms. All matches are available on Facebook Live for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit MajorLeague.Rugby.
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