The Rise of American Rugby: A New Era in Sports Documentary

The Rise of American Rugby: A New Era in Sports Documentary

American rugby union is set to take the spotlight in a new documentary series, thanks to a groundbreaking deal between Major League Rugby (MLR) and indie film financier Goldfinch. This all-access, multi-year series will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the growth and development of the sport in the United States.

Titled “Stars, Stripes and Scrums: The American Rugby Journey,” the documentary will focus on the Chicago Hounds team in its first season. However, it will also explore rugby at all levels across the country, showcasing the diverse landscape of the sport in America.

In recent years, all-access sports team documentaries have become a popular trend in unscripted television. With international rugby union already featured in prominent series like Netflix’s “Six Nations: Full Contact,” the American audience is now getting a front-row seat to the action.

A Historic Opportunity

As rugby union continues to grow in the United States, with plans to host the 2031 Men’s and 2033 Women’s Rugby World Cups, the timing for this documentary series couldn’t be more perfect. The MLR, under the leadership of CEO Nic Benson, has expanded from seven teams in 2018 to 12 in 2024, with more additions on the horizon.

The Vision Behind the Project

According to Phil McKenzie of Goldfinch, the goal of the series is to capture the essence of rugby in America, using the Hounds and MLR as a lens to showcase the sport’s evolution leading up to the World Cups. With a ten-year commitment to the project, the producers are dedicated to telling the story of young athletes making history in the American sporting landscape.

A Collaborative Effort

The documentary will be produced by a team of industry veterans, including Julian Oliver, Mike D Ware, and Seth Savoy. Post-production will be overseen by Periscope, ensuring a high-quality final product. With the support of key figures like Peter Bernick and Matt Satchwell, the project is poised to provide an inside look at the excitement and dedication of the Chicago Hounds and the broader American rugby community.

Laying the Foundation for Success

As the Chicago Hounds gear up for their second season and new clubs join from cities like Miami, Los Angeles, and Charlotte, North Carolina, the stage is set for a thrilling narrative of ambition and achievement. With a focus on players, coaching, and management, the documentary promises to capture the essence of a sport on the rise in the most exciting sports market in the world.

The upcoming documentary series on American rugby represents a unique opportunity to showcase the sport’s growth and potential in the United States. By highlighting the stories of players, teams, and fans, the series will provide a comprehensive look at the journey of rugby in America, setting the stage for an exciting new era in sports documentary filmmaking.


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