Major League Rugby Homegrown Player Policy
MLR launched the Grassroots Development Incentives (GDI) in the fall of 2020 to reward MLR teams for growing the sport through academies and youth participation. A key pillar of the GDI initiative is the Homegrown Player Program, which is aimed at incentivizing sustained player development and encouraging long lasting ties between young athletes and MLR teams.
Under this initiative, MLR teams are able to designate up to 5 (five) academy players as “Homegrown” each year, under express consent from the player and/or his guardian. Designating a player as homegrown will allow certain protections for the player to be assigned to a team without having to go through any central allocation process such as the Collegiate Draft. MLR will list Homegrown Players on this page as and when they are designated as such.
To achieve homegrown designation a player must meet the following criteria:
- Been enrolled in the academy for at least twelve (12) calendar months (continuous) AND participated in at least thirty-five (35) training/development sessions for the academy.
- Competed in at least eight (8) academy competition matches/events AND thirty-five (35) training/development sessions for the academy.
Two types of homegrown players are:
- High School Academy Homegrown Players are players that have been enrolled in an MLR teams’ High School academy and have met the fulfillment requirements.
- Developmental Academy Homegrown Players are players that have been enrolled in an MLR teams’ Development Academy and have met the fulfillment requirements.
Collegiate and University pathway players:
- High school Academy Homegrown Player rights will be maintained by the MLR team for 12 months after the player has exhausted his collegiate and university eligibility.
- Developmental Academy Homegrown Player rights will be maintained by the MLR team for 12 months after that player has exhausted his collegiate and university eligibility.
- For graduating players or players whose eligibility has been exhausted, MLR teams will have until the end of the current MLR season (Championship Game) to sign the player. Failing which, they will be eligible for the Draft.
- MLR Teams are allowed to designate five (5) homegrown players per calendar year.