Bay Area’s New Professional Rugby Franchise Announces Name and 2023 Tournament
Golden State Retrievers to host Premier Rugby Sevens
Western Conference Finals on July 15
(SAN JOSE, Jan. 17, 2023) Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s), North America’s top-tier women’s and men’s rugby sevens competition, today announced the name of their Bay Area franchise – the Golden State Retrievers. The expansion franchise will host the 2023 Western Conference Finals tournament for PR7s at PayPal Park on Saturday, July 15. The festival-style event will feature men’s and women’s teams for the Retrievers, SoCal Loggerheads, Rocky Mountain Experts, and the Northern Loonies. The Retrievers will also host an open tryout at San Jose State University in search of local talent on Sunday, Jan. 22.
With plans to host five tournaments in 2023, each PR7s event will boast a party-like atmosphere with bands, DJs, games, and contests. Additional dates and markets will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for the San Jose and Austin tournaments are now available at PRSevens.com/tickets.
“As our league grows, it was important for us to have a franchise to represent the Bay Area, which has had a tremendous rugby fanbase for many years,” said Owen Scannell, CEO of Premier Rugby Sevens. “We hosted a very successful tournament at PayPal Park last year, and we’re thrilled to return in 2023. The Golden State Retrievers will be part of the Bay Area community throughout the year and highlighted as the hosts of the Western Conference Finals on July 15.”
PR7s tournaments will include a series of eight 14-minute games, rotating between the men’s and women’s competitions on the same day. Each event will crown a men’s and women’s winner. The season-long competition will build towards the 2023 Championship Tournament, where one franchise will take home the 2023 PR7s United Championship – an unprecedented prize that combines the men’s and women’s results. Additionally, the last men’s team standing will take home the A. Jon Prusmack Cup, and the winning women’s team will receive the Kathy Flores Cup, honoring two major pioneers in American rugby.
Before the season, each franchise will run PR7s Open Trials in their home markets to search for talent in their region. On Jan. 22, the Retrievers will host its first Open Trials at San Jose State University located at 1278 S 10th St, San Jose, CA 95112. At Open Trials, franchises evaluate male and female athletes to compete to make a roster alongside Olympians and national team players. The local franchises will have the right of first refusal to draft these players in the upcoming expansion draft. The professional league offers pathways for players to have opportunities to also play internationally.
As a league, PR7s doubled in size this year with an elevated competition format. The top two teams from each conference will qualify for the 2023 Championship tournament. The following is the PR7s conference breakdown:
- Texas Team
- New York Locals
- Southern Headliners
- Western Pennsylvania – name to be announced
- Northern Loonies
- SoCal Loggerheads (licensed by Rhinos Rugby)
- Rocky Mountain Experts
- Golden State Retrievers
Last year, the PR7s 2022 season included over 30 matches through tournaments at the MLS stadiums in San Jose, Washington, D.C., and Austin. The Southern Headliners took home the first United Championship, led by Team USA Olympic co-captain Abby Gustaitis for the Headliners women and U.S. national team player Adam Channel for the men’s team. The Headliners women also took home the Kathy Flores Cup. The men of the SoCal Loggerheads were awarded the A. Jon Prusmack Cup as they were led to victory by U.S. Olympians Martin Iosefo and Matai Leuta.
About Premier Rugby Sevens
Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) is a groundbreaking professional sports league in North America that debuted in 2021. With a focus on accessibility and entertaining content for fans, the league showcases the electrifying sport of rugby sevens through a touring format in cities across the United States. PR7s is the first sports organization of its kind, with men’s and women’s teams competing under one umbrella with equal pay. To learn more about Premier Rugby Sevens, go to PRSevens.com and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.