Three-year agreement to provide on-field high performance to prominent rugby organization
(SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., May 26, 2022) Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s), the electric new North American league that will launch nationwide in multiple cities this July, announced a first-of-its-kind team licensing agreement with Rhinos Rugby. As part of the three-year agreement, Rhinos will become the official team licensee of the Loggerheads franchise and manage the on-field aspects of both men’s and women’s teams, including coach and roster selection.
Rhinos Rugby runs Rhinos High-Performance, the Rhinos Academy and the San Clemente Rhinos professional team based in San Clemente, Calif. They will help develop the Loggerheads and other PR7s teams player pool during the offseason and spearhead the youth development that will be part of the future player pipeline for Premier Rugby Sevens. Rhinos is a verified USA Rugby National Development Program.
“This agreement represents a remarkable and innovative approach toward redefining ownership in sports,” said Owen Scannell, Founder and CEO of Premier Rugby Sevens. “This is an exhilarating time for rugby in North America, with the 2028 LA Olympics, and 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups set to be hosted in the USA. This licensing agreement is a great step toward increasing stakeholder involvement in the professional game throughout America.”
“We are delighted to partner with Premier Rugby Sevens and invest in this professional men’s and women’s rugby league that promotes equality in sport,” said Andreea Trufasu, Rhinos Rugby co-founder and CEO. “Equality has been one of our core objectives at Rhinos at all levels. Having had numerous past and present Rhinos players play at Premier Rugby Sevens’ Inaugural Championship in Memphis last year, their feedback really got us excited about the competition potential.”
Rhinos will also receive ownership-style benefits, including onsite hospitality and participation in trophy and other victory celebrations alongside the team. Eight teams currently compete in the league within four franchises: the Loggerheads, Experts, Headliners, and Loonies, with a men’s team and a women’s team representing each franchise. The other three franchises will be managed by league-appointed coaching pending other licensing arrangements.
“Our agreement with Rhinos amplifies our commitment to developing talent at the grassroots level and showcasing American rugby,” said Mike Tolkin, General Manager of Premier Rugby Sevens. “Rhinos has demonstrated continued success in developing rugby players in a high-performance environment and will create an excellent pathway for players to enter the professional game.”
“We are looking forward to using our experience as a rugby organization to not only compete at the elite level but help to develop the player pool during the offseason and contribute to Premier Rugby Sevens’ youth development pipeline,” said Derek Nellmapius, co-founder and President of Rhinos.
As a groundbreaking league with men’s and women’s teams competing under one umbrella with equal pay, each PR7s event will boast a party-like atmosphere with bands, DJs, games, contests, partner integration, and special appearances. PR7s also unveiled a revolutionary new prize that unites the men’s and women’s competitions, with combined points throughout the season determining the winner of the United Championship.
As part of its nationwide expansion into new cities in 2022, PR7s tournaments will bring the famous rugby sevens festival experience to Major League Soccer (MLS) stadiums in San Jose at PayPal Park (Saturday, July 9), Washington, D.C. at Audi Field (Saturday, July 16), and Austin at Q2 Stadium (Saturday, July 30). Tickets are available at PRSevens.com/tickets.
About Rhinos Rugby
Rhinos Rugby was founded in 2014 in Southern California with the vision of providing high-performance rugby training and competition for U12-U18 Boys and Girls and Men and Women in the US. Over the last few years, Rhinos evolved to include the Rhinos Rugby Academy that provide athletes a clear and competitive rugby pathway from junior age to high-school, the Rhinos High-Performance program for post high-school, college and professional level athletes, as well as USA Rugby National Teams players, and the San Clemente Rhinos professional men’s and women’s teams which compete in the Rugby Tens Championship. Rhinos Rugby became a verified USA Rugby National Development Program in September 2020 and have seen numerous players achieve international honors or secure professional contracts. Rhinos also have regional training programs in Sacramento and San Diego (California) and Mesa (Arizona) and aim to open a new training center in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2023. To learn more about Rhinos Rugby, go to hp.rhinosrugby.com and academy.rhinosrugby.com or follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Premier Rugby Sevens
Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) is a groundbreaking professional sports league in North America that debuted in 2021. With a focus on accessibility and entertaining content for fans, the league showcases the electrifying sport of rugby sevens through a touring format in cities across the United States and Canada. PR7s is the first sports organization of its kind, with four women’s teams and four men’s teams under one umbrella with equal pay. To learn more about Premier Rugby Sevens, go to PRSevens.com and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.