MLR Schedule 2024 and Team by Team Preview

With the 2024 Major League Rugby season getting closer and closer, it seems like a pretty good time to take a look at the schedule of the upcoming season as well as how each team are doing heading into the year.

MLR Schedule

The current schedule for the MLR season consists of 18 weekends between the start of March and the end of June, with the Finals expected to take place in the first couple of weekends in July. The schedule will of course look slightly different this year considering the team changes that have taken place.

This is the current schedule for the 2024 season at the time of writing. This could of course all change if the rumours about a 12th team being added to the league are true. By the sounds of it, Major League Rugby will see need to find a way to put the Charlotte Hawks into the schedule for 2024.

March 2nd
NOLA Gold vs Old Glory DC

March 3rd
Houston SaberCats vs New England Free Jacks
Miami Sharks vs Chicago Hounds
Seattle Seawolves vs San Diego Legion

March 4th
RFC Los Angeles vs Utah Warriors

March 9th
New England Free Jacks vs Old Glory DC
NOLA Gold vs San Diego Legion

March 10th
Seattle Seawolves vs Utah Warriors
RFC Los Angeles vs Houston SaberCats
Dallas Jackals vs Miami Sharks

March 16th
New England Free Jacks vs NOLA Gold
Old Glory DC vs Miami Sharks
Utah Warriors vs Chicago Hounds

March 17th
Houston SaberCats vs Dallas Jackals
San Diego Legion vs RFC Los Angeles

March 23rd
RFC Los Angeles vs Seattle Seawolves
Old Glory DC vs Utah Warriors
Miami Sharks vs Houston SaberCats

March 24th
Dallas Jackals vs New England Free Jacks
Chicago Hounds vs San Diego Legion

March 30th
Dallas Jackals vs RFC Los Angeles
Chicago Hounds vs Old Glory DC
Miami Sharks vs Seattle Seawolves

March 31st
Utah Warriors vs NOLA Gold

April 6th
Utah Warriors vs Houston SaberCats
Seattle Seawolves vs Dallas Jackals
NOLA Gold vs Miami Sharks
Old Glory DC vs San Diego Legion
New England Free Jacks vs Chicago Hounds

April 13th
RFC Los Angeles vs NOLA Gold

April 14th
Houston SaberCats vs Old Glory DC
Dallas Jackals vs Utah Warriors
San Diego vs New England Free Jacks
Chicago Hounds vs Seattle Seawolves

April 20th
New England Free Jacks vs Miami Sharks
NOLA Gold vs Dallas Jackals
Old Glory DC vs RFC Los Angeles

April 21st
Chicago Hounds vs Houston SaberCats
San Diego Legion vs Seattle Seawolves

April 27th
Utah Warriors vs San Diego Legion

April 28th
Miami Sharks vs Old Glory DC
Houston SaberCats vs NOLA Gold
RFC Los Angeles vs New England Free Jacks

May 4th
RFC Los Angeles vs Miami Sharks
Seattle Seawolves vs Houston SaberCats
Old Glory DC vs Dallas Jackals

May 5th
New England Free Jacks vs Utah Warriors
San Diego Legion vs Chicago Hounds

May 11th
NOLA Gold vs Utah Warriors
Chicago Hounds vs RFC Los Angeles

May 12th
Miami Sharks vs San Diego Legion
Dallas Jackals vs Houston SaberCats

May 13th
Seattle Seawolves vs New England Free Jacks

May 18th
NOLA Gold vs Seattle Seawolves

May 19th
Houston SaberCats vs Miami Sharks
Utah Warriors vs RFC Los Angeles
San Diego Legion vs Old Glory DC

May 20th
Dallas Jackals vs Chicago Hounds

May 25th
Seattle Seawolves vs Old Glory DC
New England Free Jacks vs Dallas Jackals

May 26th
Miami Sharks vs NOLA Gold
Chicago Hounds vs Utah Warriors
RFC Los Angeles vs San Diego Legio

June 1st
NOLA Gold vs RFC Los Angeles

June 2nd
Old Glory DC vs Chicago Hounds
Dallas Jackals vs Seattle Seawolves
Utah Warriors vs Miami Sharks
New England Free Jacks vs Houston SaberCats

June 9th
Old Glory DC vs New England Free Jacks
Houston SaberCats vs Utah Warriors
Miami Sharks vs Dallas Jackals
San Diego Legion vs NOLA Gold

June 10th
Seattle Seawolves vs Chicago Hounds

June 15th
Dallas Jackals vs NOLA Gold
RFC Los Angeles vs Old Glory DC

June 16th
Chicago Hounds vs Miami Sharks
Houston SaberCats vs Seattle Seawolves
New England Free Jacks vs San Diego Legion

June 22nd
NOLA Gold vs Chicago Hounds

June 23rd
Miami Sharks vs New England Free Jacks
Utah Warriors vs Dallas Jackals
Seattle Seawolves vs RFC Los Angeles
San Diego Legion vs Houston SaberCats

June 30th
Chicago Hounds vs New England Free Jacks
Old Glory DC vs NOLA Gold
Houston SaberCats vs RFC Los Angeles
Utah Warriors vs Seattle Seawolves
San Diego Legion vs Dallas Jackals

MLR fixtures

Team by Team Preview

Chicago Hounds

2024 will be just the second season in Major League Rugby for the Chicago Hounds. The expectations were not very high on Chicago heading into the season considering the inexperienced squad.

Two wins to finish the season was a nice way for the Hounds year to end, having been on the end of 13 losses in 2023. Three wins is not ideal, but they will at least be pleased to have avoided being last in the Western Conference.

It was pretty clear last year that Chicago had a real issue on defence, only holding their opponents under 20 points once in the entire season. Sam Harris has a big job on his hands but will be welcoming some big Irish names to his side. While the finals certainly seem like a step too far in 2024 for the Hounds, they will just want to improve on their win tally from the previous year.

Dallas Jackals

2023 was another tough year for Dallas, but they were at least able to improve on their woeful 2022. Jackals fans got to watch on as their team picked up the first win in Dallas history against the Toronto Arrows on the 1st of April.

They picked up their first ever away win on May 20th, beating Rugby Atlanta. Having gone into 2023 without wins, picking up two is certainly an improvement. But those two still put Dallas last in the Western Conference, losing both games to the Chicago Hounds.

While their defence was certainly not great, Dallas were really hampered by the fact that they had the worst attack in the league by the figures. Similarly to Chicago, it seems like any sort of appearances in the Finals is way too far for this team. Dallas are still building and they cannot really attract the same calibre of names as other teams.

So 2024 will have to be a year similar to 2023. They will once again need to build their squad around young players. Rookie of the year Sam Golla will certainly be the sort of player they need to build around moving forward. Their recruitment coming mainly from university rugby shows this team are young and need a little bit longer before they get close to the top of Major League Rugby.

Houston SaberCats

Fellow Texas team Houston SaberCats are a few years ahead in their progression, having been part of Major League Rugby since 2018. Houston have improved from having just a single win in 2020 to finishing 3rd in the west with ten wins last year.

That is one huge improvement, but there has been one team that have been the Achilles heel of Houston. The Seattle Seawolves have ended both of the last two Houston seasons. The SaberCats have lost their last five matchups with Seattle and it has cost them massively at the most important moments.

Seattle have also hurt Houston in the offseason, with USA superstar Joe Taufete’e heading to the Seawolves. Houston will be able to call on AJ Alatimu in 2024 for the first time which is a big addition at fly half. Houston will also have second pick in the MLR Draft Max Schumacher to add to their backs.

All-MLR selections Davy Coetzer and Gideon Van Wyk were important resigning’s for this team, while try scoring winger Christian Dyer is back for 2024 as well. This is going to be a very good Houston team and they could finally make it a little further into the playoffs in 2024.

Houston fans should have high expectations heading into this season. With a talented squad that played well together last year, the sky is the limit for this SaberCats team in the upcoming season.

Miami Sharks

2024 will be the debut season for Major League Rugby’s newest team, the Miami Sharks. Having been founded last year, Miami will make their long-awaited debut this season with a bunch of star players.

Welsh front row pair Rob Evans and Kirby Myhill are two of the key signings, as well as Miami being able to bring in Argentinian scrum half Tomas Cubelli. The signings have also been boosted by the fact that Miami had the first pick in the MLR draft and picked up massive lock Rick Rose to add to their forward pack.

As it has been with a lot of other debuting teams, the expectations will not be massively high for the Sharks. They will just want to focus on picking up a few wins and building a team for the future. If Miami get anywhere near the Finals, then that is an incredible season for the debuting Sharks.

But it is not just on the pitch where 2024 will be crucially important to the Sharks. They need to build a fan base, while producing some exciting rugby for those fans to watch. With the financial troubles that MLR has gone through in the last few season, the league will desperately hope that Miami can be in the MLR for a long time.

New England Free Jacks

2023 could not have gone much better for the New England Free Jacks. After losing two of their first six games, New England went on a spectacular run that included beating the San Diego Legion to become champions of Major League Rugby for the first time in their short history in the competition.

Scott Mathie has got this team playing some excellent rugby. New England had some huge wins throughout the season, including three games when they scored 50 or more points. The team’s 80-5 victory over the Toronto Arrows showed just how incredible New England are at their attacking best.

But 2024 brings a new year and new challenges for this team. They will be able to rely upon Major League Rugby Player of the Year Jayson Potroz, who has signed on for another season of MLR. Namibian forward Wian Conradie also looks likely to stay with New England for 2024, having been named Forward of the season last year.

With the majority of the same squad that dominated MLR, New England are going to be hard to beat. Losing 2022 Player of the Year Beaudein Waaka is a big loss to this team, but New England have been looking excellent in the last 18 months. They are going to be tough to beat once again.

New Orleans Gold

Another year of missing the postseason was not what New Orleans were hoping for in 2023. Their 4th place finish in the East was enough for Kane Thompson to lose his job with the Gold and so they move into 2024 with Cory Brown in charge of this talented team.

With the talent on this team, New Orleans really should be moving towards the playoffs in 2024. If not, then they might have to deal with players like Cam Dolan, Rodney Iona and Ed Fidow all leaving, looking for better opportunities.

Old Glory DC

Washington’s Major League Rugby team have had more losses than wins in 2023, but the year was still a really good one for Old Glory DC. Having been one of the worst teams in the competition for a long time, Old Glory not only made the playoffs, but they surprised Rugby New York in the eliminator game.

Losing to the eventual champion New England Free Jacks is still an impressive achievement for a team that finished with just three wins in 2022. So the question now is pretty simple, can DC build on that year or was it a fluke?

They have added some impressive signings from across the pond, including former Worcester fullback Perry Humphreys and New Zealand fly-half Jason Robertson. So this could be a big 2024 for the Old Glory.

RFC Los Angeles

Formerly Rugby Atlanta, 2024 will be the first year of RFC Los Angeles. Having ended the 2023 season with five straight losses, this team will be looking to bounce back very quickly.

The move to LA has coincided with a lot of roster changes for this team and so it could be another difficult year for LA. They need to focus on building a fanbase while maintaining impressive performances on the pitch.

San Diego Legion

Having come just a couple of points away from winning it all in 2023, 2024 will be a huge year for San Diego. With Ma’a Nonu returning, the Legion should have a very strong squad and will look to build on their impressive year in 2023.

Can guys like Nate Augspurger, Tomas Aoaki and Faka’osi Pifeleti improve on their performances from last year? What has Ma’a Nonu got left in the tank? I guess the most important question is how to San Diego bounce back from one of the most heartbreaking ways to lose a Final.

This year will be a real test of the leaders in this dressing room as well as exactly how tough this side really is.

Seattle Seawolves

Coming off the back of losing in the 2022 MLR Finals, Seattle once again made the playoffs in 2023. But this time they lost in the Western Conference Final, getting blown out by the San Diego Legion.

So now the questions are where do Seattle go from here. The majority of their championship winning teams are gone and they need to bring through the next era of player for Seattle.

So 2024 could end up being a rebuilding year for Seattle as they look to integrate some of their key signings like Joe Taufete’e and Toni Pulu. That doesn’t mean that the Seawolves are completely out of title contention, but don’t be surprised if we see this team take a step back or two in 2024.

Utah Warriors

Arguably the most unlucky team in Major League Rugby in 2023, the conference system meant that despite their ten wins, the Utah Warriors were still unable to get to the playoffs. But it was still an exceptional year for this team.

It was the joint most wins in a single season for Utah and they doubled their win season from the last year. That is impressive especially as Utah conceded more points than they did in 2022.

So there are certainly a few gaps for Utah to fill and they are dealing with a few roster moves this offseason. The Warriors do have a strong squad, but their numbers were not great even if they picked up a lot of wins. So Utah might be a little hard to really accurately predict in 2024.

MLR fixtures

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