Major League Rugby (MLR) recently announced their 2021 season schedule, including that of New Orleans's own rugby team NOLA Gold. The first matches that will kickstart the season will be held on March 20 and include battles between NOLA Gold and Old Glory DC at 3 p.m. CT, Rugby United New York and Rugby ATL at 6 p.m. CT, and New England Free Jacks and Houston SaberCats at 7 p.m. CT, and more. The first match between NOLA Gold and Old Glory DC will be held in New Orleans.
Aside from starting off the rugby season, another notable match for NOLA will happen on March 27. This game will be the ultimate Southern rivalry, between NOLA Gold and Rugby ATL. NOLA Gold is hosting this game, so consider buying tickets to watch a historic rivalry unfold.
"We are very excited to return to the pitch for Major League Rugby's fourth season in North America," said MLR Commissioner George Killebrew, according to their website. "The 2021 season will be a celebration, with a focus on the fans and their passion for the game."
MLR's fourth season is going to be a special 18-week long season, with 13 featured teams from across North America. These 13 teams are split into two conferences: the Eastern Conference, which includes Rugby ATL, New England Free Jacks, NOLA Gold, Old Glory DC, Rigby United New York, and Toronto Arrows; and the Western Conference, which includes Austin Gilgronis, Dallas Jackals, Houston SaberCats, LA Giltinis, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, and the Utah Warriors.
These two conferences will each play a 16-game regular season schedule with two bye weeks. The two winning teams from each conference will compete in a playoff, and the two winning teams overall will compete in the Championship Final. The playoffs and final will both be held on August 1.
MLR, caring for the safety of the players, teams, and fans, has set up a COVID task force, which is filled with medical advisors and league officials. This task force will enforce social distancing guidelines to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy and to ensure that the rugby season doesn't have to be cut short. Click here to peruse the rest of the schedule for this upcoming rugby season.