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Major League Rugby unveils Dallas expansion team

Major League Rugby has announced the unveiling of a Dallas franchise for the 2021 season.

The Dallas Jackals will play at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, the former home of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers and current home of USL League One team North Texas SC.

The team’s ownership group includes Neil Leibman, the co-owner and chief operating officer of the Texas Rangers, and Donnie Nelson, the general manager of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks.

The Dallas Jackals, the league’s 13th team, will join the recently-announced LA Giltinis as new teams in MLR for 2021. It also means Texas will have three teams, alongside the Austin Gilgronis and Houston SaberCats.

“Dallas has been ready to welcome an MLR team for several years now so we are ecstatic that the Jackals are on board for 2021. The Dallas Jackals have the recipe for success in MLR – an extremely knowledgeable and experienced ownership group, plans for a stadium, and a mission for youth and community engagement. I look forward to seeing them excel in the League in 2021 and beyond,” said MLR commissioner George Killebrew.

Killebrew is the former Mavericks’ executive vice-president and chief revenue officer.

In March, MLR announced it had canceled the remainder of the 2020 season due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The start-up domestic rugby union competition was just five weeks into its third campaign, with Killebrew as its new commissioner.

In its place, MLR created its own esports competition, MLR 2020: Virtual. MLR teams will compete against each other on online game Rugby20, with the competition live-streamed to fans on Twitch.