History was in the making when the USARL board unanimously approved bids put forth by 4 new teams that will see NY Knights, Connecticut Wildcats, Bucks County Sharks and newcomers join the USA Rugby League in 2015.
The first unified rugby league season in the United States, under the auspices of the USARL, will have fourteen teams, split into three divisions over two conferences, North and South.
The competition, which sees three clubs from the former AMNRL included, will see sides participate from Boston in the north to Daytona in the south.
USA Rugby League chairman Peter Illfield, commenting on the new competition format, noted; “Today is a significant one for rugby league in America. "On the heels of becoming a member of the Rugby League International Federation, this season will see a record number of new clubs take the field exposing even more players and fans to the game."
Four sides – NY Knights, Connecticut Wildcats, Bucks County Sharks and Wilmington Black Foxes – have joined from the former AMNRL competition and the winners of the respective conferences, after the respective champions in the Northern divisions have played-off, will meet in the Grand Final for the National Championship.
Illfield confirmed, "The USARL board voted in 10 clubs from our 2014 season, with all agreeing to improve standards by recruiting participants for match officials and coach education training, youth development and multi-level grades of participation.
"The Baltimore Blues were unsuccessful with their bid and their survival depends on the viability of a proposed second-grade competition in the mid-Atlantic region."
North – Division A – North-east:
One match-up expected to draw plenty of attention is the battle of New York City, with Brooklyn Kings taking on the New York Knights in what many expect to be the two teams to watch in the North-East division.
In the Mid-Atlantic division, last year’s USARL champions, Philadelphia Fight, will face even stronger opposition in their quest to win three (3) titles in a row with the addition of Bucks County and Wilmington Black Foxes.
The Black Foxes have already signed former Fight star Kevin Wiggins to their roster