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USA Sevens LLC [United World Sports] V. USA Rugby and World Rugby

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On Tuesday, 2 April 2019, United World Sports through it's subsidiaries USA Sevens LLC and American International Media filed suit against the United States of America Rugby Football Union and World Rugby.  Attached is the Complaint.  

United World Sports Alleges USA Rugby and World Rugby colluded in a conspiracy to seize the USA stop on the HSBC 7s Series.  An event licensed from World Rugby to member Unions.  Originally the USA Event was staged in Los Angeles, at a time when USA Rugby did not have the funding or expertise to run the event long term the Union suffered hard losses.  United World Sports stepped in and purchased a 90% Stake in the Operating Company: USA Sevens, LLC. 

In the Complaint, UWS alleges that following the stability created in Vegas, World Rugby aimed to seize control of the Union.  

It's important to note that when World Rugby granted and licensed a stop to USA Rugby in the early 2000s, there wasn't a process for Unions to bid on a stop for the series.  That has since changed.  World Rugby implemented a bid/tender process in 2014.  The revamped that process again in 2018.  UWS alleges in the complaint that World Rugby change to the process was done specifically to target their business and remove them as the licensee.  

An important note, with an actual bid process in place, lower tier unions have bid unsuccessfully for a stop on the HSBC 7s Series.  2016 was the first year of International competition sanctioned at Oktoberfest 7s in Munich, GER.  During the 2020-2023 bid cycle the operating company of Oktoberfest 7 in concert with Deustcher Rugby-Vergband (Germany Rugby Federation) bid unsuccessfully for a stop on the 7s series.

When reached for comment, USA Rugby Stated: "Given the circumstance is a legal proceeding, USA Rugby will appropriately refrain from further comment at this time. The organization however is openly compliant with all parties involved to address the matter and allow for due process." This publication also learned, that unlike when the PRO Rugby NA lawsuit was filed, that USA Rugby did send an additional note to the Rugby Congress.

~Aaron Castro