Seven clubs that have committed to the inaugural USARL competition already have a history of top-level Rugby League play in the United States. These clubs are the Boston 13s, the D.C. Slayers, the Fairfax (VA) Eagles, the Jacksonville Axemen, the New Haven Warriors, the Philadelphia Fight and the Pittsburgh Sledgehammers. They will be joined by two expansion clubs: the New Jersey Knights and Kodiak Rugby from New York City.
One of the key differences between the USARL and any other rugby leagues in the USA is that it is a member cooperative. As stated by Daryl “Spinner” Howland of the Jacksonville Axemen: “The formation of the USARL is a watershed moment in the history of Rugby League in America. The USA has never before had a Governing Body where the Member Clubs all have an equal opportunity to progress themselves as well as the League to which they are all a part, via a true democratic process that includes elections. We feel that the USARL will allow us to support other clubs, and visa versa, in league wide efforts to see our years of investment progress Rugby League, while also having a voice in the direction the Governing Body takes the sport.”
Ryan P. McGough, President of the Philadelphia Fight, expressed the same sentiments. “It will be nice to be part of a League where the Clubs have a direct say, form the long-term vision and have a clear financial stake in the result.”