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Scottish Rugby Union becomes first tier-1 union to invest in Major League Rugby

The Scottish Rugby Union has announced it will take a 30-per-cent stake in Washington, DC-based Major League Rugby expansion side Old Glory DC.

The move makes Scottish Rugby the first tier-1 union to forge a link with a team in the nascent MLR – which held its inaugural season last year – and is a signal of intent at a time when interest in the sport in the States is rising and the traditional rugby nations are seeking new ways to grow revenues.

The Old Glory is set to join MLR for its third season, which begins in February 2020.

Speaking to The Guardian, Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said: “This is a strategic international partnership, which I am pleased we have secured to become the first tier-one nation to take this step with a team in the MLR.”

Old Glory DC is one of three expansion teams in MLR for 2020, alongside the New England Free Jacks and Rugby ATL. The new additions will push MLR’s total roster of teams to twelve.