Major League Rugby has released the schedule for the upcoming 2023 season. Like the last several years, the schedule includes sixteen matches, eight at home and eight away. They are spread over 18 weeks, with 2 bye weeks per team.

With two teams (Austin and LA) departing and one team (Chicago) joining, the league will once again have balanced conferences of six teams each. The conferences remain unchanged, except that Chicago, due to the convenience of travel from a hub airport, will play in the western conference despite being geographically in the east. Teams will play the other teams in their conference twice, once at home and once on the road, and will play the teams in the other conference once each.

The season will start a couple of weeks later than usual this year, starting on in mid-February as opposed to early February, and run a couple weeks later, until mid-June. There are some advantages to moving the schedule; for one thing, northern teams have decent weather earlier in the season, given that winter can last until early April in many places. Teams will also have a noticeable increase in preseason prep time, as usually they don't assemble and start training until after New Year. On the flip side, however, southern teams will have more weeks of brutal heat at the end of the season, OGDC included. It also pushes the end of the season very close to the July international window, when many players will be playing for their national teams.

Old Glory's 2023 schedule

Old Glory will be the first team to play the new expansion side in Chicago, hosting them at Segra to open the season. They then have an early bye in week two. They otherwise have a very balanced schedule, with another bye week halfway through the season and an even spread of home and away matches.

All of Old Glory's home matches this year will be on Saturdays or Sundays, eliminating the Friday fixtures of last season. Most of the home matches are also in the mid-afternoon, either 2:00 or 3:00 pm, which should help people who have a long way to travel. The two exceptions are the final two home matches, which will be at 7:00 pm. That should help avoid the heat and the sun in early June.

OGDC 2023 Schedule
February 18th Saturday 2:00 pm Home Chicago
Bye
March 5th Sunday 3:00 pm Away Rugby New York
11th Saturday 3:00 pm Away New England Free Jacks
18th Saturday 3:00 pm Home Toronto Arrows
25th Saturday 3:00 pm Home NOLA Gold
April 2nd Sunday 4:00 pm Away San Diego Legion
8th Saturday 6:00 pm Away Rugby ATL
16th Sunday 3:00 pm Home Rugby New York
22nd Saturday 3:00 pm Home Utah Warriors
Bye
May 6th Saturday 8:05 pm Away Dallas Jackals
14th Sunday 1:30 pm Home New England Free Jacks
18th Thursday 7:00 pm Away Toronto Arrows
27th Saturday 7:00 pm Home Seattle Seawolves
June 3rd Saturday 6:00 pm Away NOLA Gold
9th Friday 9:00 pm Away Houston Sabercats
17th Saturday 7:00 pm Home Rugby ATL

Preseason

With the season schedule announced and dates fixed, Old Glory will likely announce preseason matches before the end of the year. In the past, OGDC has scheduled these warm-up matches for the two weekends before the regular season starts, although that is in part due to the limited options. With more time available, we might see the preseason matches more spread out this year.

Old Glory is likely to schedule MLR teams as their opponents, but not guaranteed. In 2020, they played Navy and Atlanta, while in 2022 they played Toronto and New England. There were no preseason matches in 2021 due to COVID. OGDC has hosted all their preseason matches, in large part due to having an excellent indoor field available at the St James, something most teams don't have access to and which is essential in late January. Since attending these preseason matches for no charge is advertised as a perk of season ticket membership, we'll likely see a couple of preseason matches scheduled.


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