Major League Rugby is a professional rugby union competition and the top-level championship for clubs in North America. In the 2020 season it will be contested by twelve teams: eleven from the United States and one from Canada. Sanctioned by USA Rugby, a member union of Rugby Americas North, part of World Rugby, the league was founded in 2017, is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. With its initial beginnings as part of established amateur rugby clubs in major North American urban areas, MLR began its first season in 2018 as an initiative of the American rugby community in partnership with private investors. Three further American clubs, in Atlanta and Washington D. C. began play in 2020. In September 2016, with at least five amateur rugby union clubs across the United States discussing a possible professional league, Dean Howes, an executive with Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, stepped in as senior strategic advisor for Rugby Utah in an attempt to provide a pathway for expanding professional rugby stateside.
By February 2017, a total of nine amateur rugby union organizations including the Austin Huns, Dallas Griffins, Glendale Raptors, Houston Strikers, Kansas City Blues, New Orleans RFC, Rugby Utah and the Seattle Saracens, announced their intentions to form a professional league to begin play the following year. On August 15, 2017, the Austin Huns announced that it would opt-out of MLR in favor of allowing a newly-branded spinoff, the Austin Elite compete in the league; the Houston Strikers rebranded themselves as the Houston SaberCats. Whereas the elite players of New Orleans and Seattle became the New Orleans Gold, Utah Warriors, Seattle Seawolves interests in Minneapolis were replaced by the San Diego Legion. With Kansas City and Dallas still in planning stages, the league continued as seven members for its inaugural season. On November 6, 2017, Major League Rugby and CBS Sports Network announced a multi-year television partnership which marked MLR's first major television deal for broadcast rights.
It was the first time in American history that a new sporting league had a national television deal prior to launch. The first regular-season game in Major League Rugby history was held on April 21, 2018, when the Houston SaberCats hosted the New Orleans Gold in Houston. In addition to Rugby United New York, the Toronto Arrows joined the league ahead of 2019 season as the first Canadian team in MLR. Three further American clubs are set to begin play in 2020. In late April 2019, RUNY announced the signing of French international Mathieu Bastareaud, seen as a major coup for the league, since Bastereaud is a current French international and world-class player, making him by far the most prominent player in the league at that time. In October 2019, another major signing was made when it was announced that All Blacks international and multiple World Cup winner Ma'a Nonu would join the San Diego Legion for the 2020 season; the following December saw another World Cup winner sign with the league, namely South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira with Old Glory DC.
Major League Rugby spans five months from February through to the end of June. The 2019 regular season was a double round-robin with all clubs playing each other home and away; each team played half of them at home. This was followed by a postseason for the top four teams consisting of two semi-final matches and the Championship Game to determine the season's MLR champion team. For the 2020 season, MLR will change to a conference format. Both conferences, the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, will consist of six teams: Seattle, San Diego, Colorado and Houston in the west and existing teams New Orleans, New York, Toronto to be joined by 2020 newcomers Atlanta, Washington, D. C. and New England in the east. Each team will play a double round-robin within their conference in addition to playing six games against teams from the other conference, for a total of 16 regular-season games; the postseason will consist of the top three teams from each conference: a wildcard game between the second and third ranked teams, followed by a playoff game between the wildcard winner and the first ranked team in the conference.
The resulting playoff winners from each conference will face off in the league championship. The season is scheduled to start on February 8, 2020; the league is structured as a closed system and, similar to other American sports leagues, does not have promotion and relegation. It operates as a single entity similar to Major League Soccer, with each team or "franchise" owned by the league and the franchise operators owning a share of the league. There are twelve teams confirmed for the 2020 Major League Rugby season with a regular season of 96 matches. In November 2019, the only expansion team mentioned by the league is to be based in Dallas, although no other information on the team has been announced. In December 2019, another new team proposed for 2021 called Loyals Rugby, based in Los Angeles, was announced at the press conference introducing new commissioner George Killebrew. Current Members Previous Team Name In July 2018, an ownership group in Los Angeles announced its intentions to join in the 2019 season as LA Coast Rugby, but the bid was rejected.
Instead, an Australian ownership group has been approved to field a team in Los Angeles with a 2021 start date called the Los Angeles Loyals. An owner in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced intentions to add a team to MLR for the 2019 season, but never went further. Columbus, which had a team in PRO Rugby
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La Marca del Hombre Lobo, is a 1968 3-D Spanish horror film, the first in a long series of films about the werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky, played by Paul Naschy. The film was known as Hell's Creatures: Dracula and the Werewolf, The Nights of Satan and Frankenstein's Bloody Terror. Naschy claimed he followed up this film with his 1968 film Las Noches del Hombre Lobo and his 1969 film Los Monstruos del Terror. A drunken Gypsy couple spending the night in the abandoned Wolfstein castle accidentally resurrect the werewolf Imre Wolfstein when they remove the silver cross from his corpse. Once alive, he not only kills the Gypsy couple, but wreaks havoc on a nearby village; the villagers attribute the attack to ordinary wolves, in response, form a hunting party to kill off the animals. While on the hunt, Count Waldemar Daninsky is attacked by Imre Wolfstein and is afflicted with lycanthropy. After killing innocent victims in the midst of his transformation, he seeks help from specialists, Dr. Janos de Mikhelov and his wife, who turn out to be two vampires, who prey on both Janice and Rudolph, Waldemar's friends.
The vampires revive the first werewolf, from the dead, force the two werewolves to battle each other. Waldemar kills Imre Wolfstein with his fangs and destroys the two vampires, only to be killed in turn by a bullet fired by Janice, the woman who loved him most. Paul Naschy = as Waldemar Daninsky Dianik Zurakowska = as Janice Manuel Manzaneque = as Rudolph Weissmann Julian Ugarte = as Dr. Janos Mikhelov the vampire Aurora de Alba = as Wandesa the vampiress Rosanna Yanni = as Nascha the gypsy Gualberto Gualban = as Gyogyo Jose Nieto = as Count Sigmund Carlos Casaravilla = as Judge Weissmann Paul Naschy was the stage name of the late Spanish screenwriter and actor Jacinto Molina; the film's German distributors felt. “Paul” was an homage to the Pope at the time, Paul VI, “Naschy” was inspired by a well-known Hungarian Olympic athlete, Imre Nagy. La Marca del Hombre Lobo was the first in a long line of werewolf films that would make Paul Naschy world famous. Naschy got the idea to make a Spanish horror film while he was working on the film Agonizing in Crime in 1967.
He broached the idea to the director of that film, Enrique Eguiluz, who tried to dissuade him from doing it. Naschy tried to interest Spanish director Amando de Ossorio in the project, who tried to dissuade him. Eguiluz changed his mind and helped Naschy find an interested Spanish film producer. In the United States, the film was called Frankenstein's Bloody Terror to satisfy the American distributor's need for a second "Frankenstein film" to pad out a planned double feature release. To justify this odd choice of title, a specially created animated opening sequence explained that a branch of the Frankenstein family became cursed with lycanthropy and took the name Wolfstein. American producer Sam Sherman needed to fill 400 playdates for his film Dracula vs. Frankenstein, which at that time was entangled in a legal stand-off with an unscrupulous film lab contracted to produce the release prints; the 400 theaters in question had been promised a Frankenstein double feature, Sherman was determined to give them one.
Both films thus ran together in 1974 in American theaters. La Marca del Hombre Lobo was filmed in Jan Jacobsen’s Hi-Fi Stereo 70 3-D format; when Sherman learned this, he was persuaded by other investors to hire optical effects maestro Linwood Dunn to create single-strip, over-and-under 35mm prints for American release. The final results were beautiful to look at when projected through high-quality 3-D lenses, but a celebrity-studded Hollywood premiere was undone when Sherman’s fellow investors provided shoddy acrylic lenses for the projectors. Hence it was only shown in 70mm 3-D in Germany; the Mark of the Wolfman on IMDb