Friday’s inbox looks at the possiblity of the PRO12 welcoming in a side from America, and the benefits for all involved.
Keep those thoughts coming to firstname.lastname@example.org to make the next edition.
The American dream!
I think it would be a wise decision for PRO12 to look across the Atlantic and invite a U.S. based team to join the competition. Rugby is one of the fastest growing team sports in the U.S.A. and the marketing potential is virtually unlimited there.
A good place to start would be New York – on top of the fact it’s one of the biggest population centres in the country – there is a huge ex-pat population either living or travelling in the NY area at any given time.
So even if the native population didn’t catch on immediately, it would attract a fair interest from curious travellers to strengthen the crowds.
Some might say the travel time to the Eastern seaboard from Europe is an issue, but remember the distances all the Super Rugby teams have to travel, which are much greater.
As for recruitment, they could draw players from the current U.S. pro-league (while maintaining the other league) and sprinkle some biggish names from established rugby countries to remain competitive.
With players regularly abandoning the PRO12 for greener pastures in either England or France, maybe a regular trip to the the big apple might convince them to do otherwise.