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USA Rugby captain Bryce Campbell has said that he is pleased with the growth of Major League Rugby in the United States in recent years.
The Austin Gilgronis centre is one of 18 MLR players in the USA’s matchday 23 for the match against Ireland.
Irish-born US internationals Luke Carty and Paul Mullen are also among the 18 in the squad that plays in the MLR.
Campbell believes that the league is integral to the national team and will continue to be for the future.
“Just the fact that all team is playing week in week out and that the competition is getting better and better – not even every season, but each week,” said Campbell.
Campbell stated that it is a huge positive to have a domestic competition to build international-level players in.
He believes that the American players in the MLR can build a strong bond, even if they are not on the same team and that helps the squad when they all come together to put on the USA jersey.
“I think with a lot of us playing MLR, we have felt each other’s tendencies a bit.”
The US have added new players to their camp since their last time together in Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
However, the core of the current squad includes several players who went to Japan and this also helps the team’s chemistry, according to the captain.
Campbell clarified that most of the players in the squad have played with each other at one point or another, so that makes it easier.
Players like Christian Dyer, who came into the squad after missing out on a spot on the US Sevens Olympic Squad, have fit in very well, according to Campbell.
“I’m just really happy with the way the team has come together.”
Ireland’s game against the USA kicks off on Saturday at 7:15 pm.