Navigating the fractured US rugby league market: a challenging endeavor

Rugby league fans are familiar with a certain saying regarding missed opportunities, which has unfortunately happened again. This time, it occurred in the United States, specifically in the state of Utah, where the NRL’s season opener was scheduled to take place for the next five years. The situation arose when NRL player Spencer Leniu was sent for a coaching clinic with a local high school team during a recent promotional visit to Vegas. However, the team involved did not play rugby league, but rather another sport. This led to criticism and backlash from union supporters.

The Utah Rugby League Association (URLA) expressed disappointment with the NRL’s decision to conduct a coaching clinic with a rugby union club instead of working with the youth rugby league teams in Salt Lake City. This sparked a public outcry, but the issue was eventually resolved when the NRL and URLA decided to work together to build the game of rugby league in Utah.

The incident highlights a deeper issue within the American rugby league scene, where different entities are not aligned and struggle to work together. However, there have been positive developments in recent years, including the launch of new leagues and the election of a new board to oversee the USARL. This newfound unity is expected to facilitate effective communication and support for existing rugby league structures.

With a five-year plan in place for the NRL’s initiative in the US, there is an opportunity to rectify recent mistakes and propel American rugby league in the right direction. By working with the local scene, the NRL has the potential to achieve great success in the wild west.