A Breakdown of the Greatest Recap in PRO Rugby History

Ed Fletcher is a gawd.

Ed Fletcher: Man on the Scene

According to his amazing Twitter (@NewsFletch) bio, “Ed Fletcher is a Sacramento Bee reporter, who happens to dabble in film, comedy and changing the world.”

And man, oh man, did he ever. His recap of the PRO Rugby announcement of Sacramento, California as the first venue for the nascent league contains some of the best things we’ve ever seen. Thanks to the intrepid reporting of Fletch, those of us who were unable to attend (or watch) now have it as a matter of public record.

We would recommend reading the whole article for the full effect, but it starts out by recapping the basics of what PRO Rugby is, and the selection of Bonney Field as the location of the first team. He then provides some context about the strength of the local rugby scene:

Within the rugby community, Sacramento is considered a hotbed of interest. The Northern California Youth Rugby Association is one of the largest in the United States, with 200 teams and 5,300 players from under-8 through high school. Adult clubs have 2,000 players, according to league officials. Jesuit High School’s team is considered one of the best in the nation and regularly produces some of the nation’s best prospects.

Building on this strength, Sacramento hosted a “nearly-sold out” US Eagles international test against Japan in the summer. This is where Ed Fletcher’s reporting captures something special.

The strong attendance and the unique fairgrounds atmosphere, with a Ferris wheel and water slides surrounding the field, helped Sacramento’s case, [PRO Rugby CEO Doug] Schoninger said.

“Sacramento wasn’t on my personal radar until I came out to the Eagle-Japanese game,” Schoninger said. “When I came here, I said, ‘We have to include Sacramento.’ What we are trying to do with rugby is we’re trying to Americanize it for American audiences. There is nothing more American than this place.”

Ferris wheel! Water slides!

I’ll get back to the article in a second, but I want to really pause and ponder that. There is a Venn diagram of potential Sacramento season-ticket holders that I just can’t shake out of my mind.


Amazing. Let’s Americanize this for Americans. ‘Merica!

Although, this might present further evidence that Chicago (home of the original Ferris wheel) is not getting a team.

Back to the article, and some of the other tidbits that Fletch was able to gather that provides a bit more detail for us:

  • Sacramento will be among the smaller of the six cities to host teams
  • There will be in-season contests for fans to name teams
  • Tickets are expected to go on sale in January
  • Players will be paid competitively based on their earnings capability

So, are you feeling a bit more excited about PRO Rugby? We are. We also want to go on a water slide, but maybe that’s because it’s November and we miss the sun. Thank you, Ed Fletcher, Sacramento Bee star reporter, you’ve done a tremendous service. We salute you.


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