The consortium of top clubs on the West Coast have announced the formation of a new league that will operate independently of USA Rugby.
The Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) will include Belmont Shore, Denver Barbarians, Glendale Raptors, Olympic Club, OMBAC, San Francisco Golden Gate and Santa Monica. This was announced Wednesday with a press release sent from the league, which is currently being run by reps from all seven clubs, with a three-person directorship of Lance French (Denver Barbarians, finance), Geno Mazza (OMBAC, operations), and Sion Williams (Santa Monica, marketing/media).
The PRP will officially launch on January 15, with the first round of fixtures kicking off on February 1.
The season is ambitious, with teams playing each other twice, for a 12-game season, along with a championship match between the top two teams on May 17.
The PRP will follow USA Rugby eligibility rules and will use USA Rugby referees. The only difference, apart from the fact the competition is outside USA Rugby control, is that the league will have a separate and distinct roster declaration policy.
Meanwhile, the five other major clubs in the USA at present – Boston, Life, NYAC, Old Blue, and Seattle-OPSB – will remain in the Elite Cup, playing in USA Rugby’s top club competition in what is likely to be a season of four games each plus a championship match.