Premier Rugby Sevens to Bring Innovation and Equal Pay to North America’s Newest Sports League | News Direct

Premier Rugby Sevens to Bring Innovation and Equal Pay to North America’s Newest Sports League Today’s Announcement includes Commitments from Olympic-bound Players from U.S. Women’s & Men’s National Teams

Premier Rugby Sevens
News release by Premier Rugby Sevens

facebook icon linkedin icon twitter icon pinterest icon email icon NEW YORK | May 19, 2021 08:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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 will provide equal pay and high-performance access under one league umbrella, adopting a touring format in cities across the United States and Canada. The sport of sevens, as it is known in its short form, is an incredibly entertaining game that showcases a fast-paced style of rugby with nonstop action through a series of 15-minute games in a single day.

Starting with a pilot season in the fall of 2021, PR7s will feature many U.S. 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 games 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

The league’s first player signings feature several stars from both the U.S. Men’s and U.S. 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, which can be viewed HERE.

PR7s 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.”

Scannell’s first hire was Mike Tolkin as the league’s general manager to oversee all rugby operations. Tolkin brings an impressive resume to PR7s, including the role of head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Rugby (15s) team starting in 2012, where he led the U.S. to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Most recently, Tolkin was head coach of Rugby United New York in their inaugural season in 2019.

“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.”

Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) is a groundbreaking professional sports league in North America. Scheduled to debut in the Fall of 2021, PR7s is the first league of its kind with both women’s teams and men’s teams under one umbrella with equal pay. With a focus on accessibility and entertaining content for fans, the league will showcase the electrifying sport of rugby sevens through a single-day touring format in cities across the United States and Canada. To learn more about Premier Rugby Sevens, go to and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Eric Nemeth