PR7s Launching for 2021: A Professional 7s Circuit
PR7s Launching for 2021: A Professional 7s Circuit
NEW YORK, May 19, 2021—North America has a groundbreaking new sports league; scheduled to debut in the fall of 2021, Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) will showcase North America’s top male and female players, including world-class Olympic athletes.
The league was founded by Owen Scannell, a former collegiate rugby player from Dartmouth College. Scannell left a career in investment banking in 2017 to earn his MBA from the Tuck School of Business, with a focus on launching a startup in sports and entertainment. He spent two years running the commercial, business, and logistical operations for an American rugby franchise before departing to lay the groundwork for PR7s.
“Rugby sevens is the most exhilarating sport in the world and perfect for the next generation of young fans,” said Scannell. “Sevens is extremely accessible and enjoyable for new North American fans and players. Our goal is to entertain fans through high-quality digital content, and unforgettable festival experiences in attractive North American destinations and markets. PR7s will provide our partners with unique and unparalleled activations across all our platforms.”
Mike Tolkin Signs on as GM
He has brought in some big names to help him. Today he announced PR7s had hired Mike Tolkin, former USA Men's 15s Head Coach, multiple Super League-winning Head Coach with NYAC, and former Rugby United Head Coach. Tolkin has coached players at all levels and understands the game and the level of play required to be a professional. Tolkin is General Manager of the league and will be responsible for recrutiing players, hiring coaches, and ensuring parity throughout the league.
“Sevens is a fast-paced and dynamic game requiring skill, speed, power, and precision,” said Tolkin. “It's an incredibly entertaining game to watch, and PR7s wants to showcase the immense talent and athleticism of our athletes throughout North America. The U.S. teams have enjoyed great success on the world stage against international competition, and PR7s is a great opportunity to continue to grow that talent pool. Starting with many stars that are slated to play in the Olympics, our rosters will have incredible athletes who will provide a thrilling experience for our fans.”
Big-Name US Players Already Signed
Starting with a pilot season in the fall of 2021, PR7s will feature many USA international players who played in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and are expected to play in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. The league will feature six men’s teams and four women’s teams that play multiple tournaments in one location. The host cities and schedule, along with tryout information, player announcements, and team names, will be revealed in the coming months. Fans are encouraged to sign up for news alerts and schedule updates at PRSevens.com.
The league’s first player signings feature several stars from both the USA Men’s and USA Women’s National Sevens teams, including Perry Baker, Danny Barrett, Abby Gustaitis, Carlin Isles, Ilona Maher, Folau Niua, Naya Tapper, and Stephen Tomasin. Baker, Barrett, Gustaitis, and Tapper participated in a launch video.
“The U.S. has enjoyed great success on the world stage, led by the efforts of players like Perry, Danny, Abby, Ilona, Folau, Naya, and Stephen,” said Tolkin. “With the Olympic Games happening this summer, these world-class athletes are a perfect foundation of PR7s’ talent on the field in year one. With the Olympic Games happening this summer, we hope to see these athletes competing for the United States. We’re looking forward to making more player announcements and holding tryouts for open positions soon.”
“This league is something that is so long overdue,” said Barrett. “I’ve been playing for almost 20 years. When I was growing up, it was the U.S. National Team or nothing. Now, PR7s is creating a pathway where a 17-year-old Danny Barrett knows a path to reach a professional level and the national team.”
“Everyone I know that is introduced to the sport of sevens falls in love with it,” added Baker. “New fans in North American will love the speed, the excitement, and the nonstop action. Personally, I live for big moments. And playing for fans in my own country through PR7s will be filled with those moments. I can’t wait.”
“I believe Premier Rugby Sevens will be a big reason the sport of sevens will take off in the United States and Canada and I want to be a part of that,” said Tapper. “One of my goals is to inspire the next generation, particularly crossover athletes, to consider rugby sevens. And now with PR7s, along with the Olympics, there are even more opportunities to continue an athlete’s career at the highest levels.”
“Joining Premier Rugby Sevens in its inaugural year is a huge opportunity to be a trailblazer in this sport domestically,” said Gustaitis. “The sky's the limit on where this league can go here in North America and I’m extremely grateful to be one of the first athletes invited to join.”
Follow the PR7s on the web at PRSevens.com or in social media accounts: