World Rugby backs Guinness Pro12 expansion to North America

  • World Rugby would support North American teams joining the Pro12
  • Pro12 officials have held talks that could lead to US and Canadian sides being involved
  • “We’d be supportive of any competitions including US-based sides,” said chief executive Brett Gosper
World Rugby would support North American teams joining the Pro12, chief executive Brett Gosper has said.

“We’d be supportive of any competitions including US-based sides,” said Gosper.

“The US market is a very important market for rugby. It’s a high-growth market, it’s the fastest-growing team sport in the USA.

“It certainly will, we think, provide us in the future with huge revenues to World Rugby through our Rugby World Cup product, which all gets invested back into the game around the world.

“That competition, or the Aviva [Premiership], or the Top 14, or Super Rugby – they’re all competing for players and competing for eyeballs on broadcasts, so we understand why they would be interested in having a US team in their competition.

“From our point of view, it would be great because it would be developing players in that area who otherwise would have to come to Europe.

“Anything that keeps and inspires some home-grown US players can only be good for the development of that sport.”

Pro12 managing director Martin Anayi has underlined the desire for North American teams to be included, with Houston and Vancouver earmarked as possible host cities.


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