The New York Rugby League Shop hosted by Ellis Rugby contains high quality fashion garments for Rugby League expansion enthusiasts.
The concept of a New York Rugby League team was led by Ricky Wilby. The plan was to compete in the Rugby Football League’s League 1 in 2021 and would be the first American professional rugby league club. They will play home games at Red Bull Arena.
It was first reported in October 2017 that a New York consortium were seeking to join the Rugby Football League’s League 1 in 2019. Earlier in 2017, Canadian side Toronto Wolfpack became the first transatlantic team to join the league.
On May 20, 2019, the Rugby Football League released a statement on the two prospective overseas clubs. Ottawa had been accepted in principle to join League 1 in 2020 while New York had a change in ownership structure and was encouraged to work toward entry in 2021 instead.
In March 2020, it was confirmed that the Ottawa Aces would be accepted for entry to RFL League 1 for the 2021 season, it was decided that adding two North American teams to a semi professional league would add extra pressure to current teams. So New York City Rugby League was planned to enter into the RFL League 1 for the 2022 season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ottawa Aces inclusion into the RFL League 1 was delayed until 2022.
The North American Rugby League (NARL)
Following the disappointment of the exclusion of the Toronto Wolfpack from Super League and the likely hurdles in allowing North American teams to complete, a new North American Rugby League (NARL) featuring 14 teams from the US and Canada will launch in the summer of 2021.
The first round of games will take place over the weekend of June 19-20 in Brooklyn and Las Vegas. In line with COVID-19 regulations, all games during the inaugural season will be played in a ‘single venue or festival style’ that will see all teams play in one stadium on one day with no fans. The competition will be split into three conferences. The East Coast Conference will feature the Atlanta Rhinos, Boston Thirteens, Brooklyn Kings, Cleveland Rugby League, New York Rugby League and Washington Cavalry, while the West Coast Conference will be made up of the Austin Armadillos, Las Vegas Blackjacks, Phoenix Venom, Portland Loggers, San Diego Swell and San Francisco Rush.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, a Canada Cup will be played between Toronto Wolfpack, formerly of the UK-based Super League, and the Ottawa Aces before both teams enter the East Coast Conference in 2022.
NARL’s head of operations Robert Curtis said: “I’m delighted to introduce the North America Rugby League to rugby league fans around the world in what we firmly believe is the next big evolutionary step for rugby league.
“The NARL is the culmination of years of research and market testing and has been designed to bring you the hardest hitting, fastest and most exciting sport on the planet. Matches begin this summer. It’s time to get excited about a new class of contact sport.”
The NARL will provide competition for the existing USA Rugby League (USARL), whose season is due to get underway on June 5. Curtis said the NARL would not be a direct rival of USARL.
“We see NARL as an addition to the existing rugby league structures in the United States and certainly do not see ourselves as a ‘rival’ or ‘rebel’ league,” he added. “Our sole aim is to grow the fantastic sport of rugby league in North America and create a legacy for generations to come.”
The Ellis Rugby Designs
Working with New York Rugby League, Ellis Rugby were commissioned to design an exclusive high quality fashion collection to help merchandise this start-up club.
The stylish branding – as iconic as New York City itself includes a number of references to the city within its design and colours. The Five Stars, representing the five boroughs of New York City; Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. The wonderful New York Skyline – architecturally significant buildings in a wide range of styles spanning distinct historical and cultural periods.
The Colours – Tricolor in blue, white, and orange representing the flag of New York. The blue, white and orange refer to the colours of the historical Dutch flag. Orange is the colour the Dutch adopted after their leader William of Orange. The garment designs created by Ellis Rugby incorporate many stylish features inspired by NY and it’s history.