MLR Unveils Anthem Rugby Carolina as 12th Team for 2024 Season – SportsLogos.Net News

After unveiling home and away kits for 11 of its teams earlier this month, Major League Rugby has brought a 12th team on board for its 2024 season, which kicks off in March.

MLR announced the name of the team — Anthem Rugby Carolina, or Anthem RC for short — and unveiled a lettermark on Friday, January 19. The team will play at the American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will serve as a development squad for players eligible to play for the United States’ national men’s rugby team as they prepare for the 2027 and 2031 Men’s Rugby World Cups — the latter of which the U.S. will host.

A full crest and kits are expected to be unveiled in the next week or so.

Anthem RC’s lettermark is a large slab-serif A with three stripes from the American flag angling upward to form the crossbar of the A. Inside the A at the end of the stripes is a star, another piece of American imagery.

Versions of the lettermark posted to Anthem RC’s social media channels on Friday showed it in grey on a bright blue background; in white on a grey background; and in bright blue on a gold background.

Courtesy @AnthemRugby / Twitter

Anthem RC embraces the concept of rising stars throughout its brand, symbolic of the efforts of the new club to invest and grow American rugby. Inspired by the U.S. national anthem, it also features distinct connections to the Charlotte community by drawing from its rich military heritage and incorporating a recognizable color palette that draws from the smoky tones of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Major League Rugby

Anthem RC also posted a secondary logo consisting of “Anthem” spelled out in a script font, with “Rugby Carolina” in a flourish underneath stemming from the A.

Anthem RC’s roster for 2024 consists of players on loan from other MLR teams who are eligible to play for the U.S. in international rugby competition.

“The new club is a gamechanger for American rugby and will create new pathways for player development and grassroots participation, building on the outstanding foundation our teams have forged during the past seven years.” said MLR commissioner Nic Benson in a press release. “We’re grateful to the leadership of both World Rugby and USA Rugby for their partnership in this endeavor as we work towards our shared goal of a record breaking 2031 World Cup on U.S. soil. Charlotte is one of the best sports cities in the country, with a passionate fan base for everything from basketball to soccer, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring home its first professional rugby franchise. There already is a great rugby community in Charlotte, and I’m excited to introduce this sport to new fans across the Carolinas.”

“Working with strategic partners in the USA, and backed by our Executive Board, we are activating a transformative and long-term growth plan for rugby in the US that will enable a great sporting nation, and the sport as a whole, to unlock the true potential of hosting men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2031 and 2033 respectively,” added World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin. ““This ambitious plan is centered around making the sport more relevant and accessible to more people in the US, a nation that loves sport and events, anchored in entertainment. In addition to accelerating the clear potential of women’s rugby and cementing sevens in USA sports culture, we must sustainably grow the elite men’s game and for the USA Eagles national team to be successful on the world stage.”

With the addition of Anthem RC, along with other expansion franchises and withdrawals, MLR has realigned its conferences for 2024. The Western Conference will consist of the Dallas Jackals, the Houston SaberCats, Rugby Football Club Los Angeles, the San Diego Legion, the Seattle Seawolves and the Utah Warriors. The Eastern Conference will consist of Anthem RC, the Chicago Hounds, the Miami Sharks, the New England Free Jacks, the New Orleans Gold and Old Glory DC.

The 2024 MLR season begins on the weekend of March 2 and 3. Anthem RC’s first match will be against the defending champions, the New England Free Jacks, on Sunday, March 3.

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