Coleman, Hoiles to join LA MLR franchise

by staff

Shute Shield-winning coach Darren Coleman is heading to the USA to lead new Major League Rugby franchise the LA Giltinis.

The Giltinis, named for a cocktail described as a fancy martini, have been given the green light to join the MLR from 2021 and there'll be plenty of Aussie faces among the new team.

Coleman, who led Warringah to a Shute Shield title in 2017 and is currently the Gordon coach, will be head coach with current Sevens assistant Stephen Hoiles coming along as his right hand man.

Hoiles is among a number of Rugby Australia staff to have had his hours or pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic and that coupled with the delay of the Tokyo Olympics meant he opted to walk away from the Sevens role earlier than planned.

The Giltinis are owned by Australian group Loyals Rugby, which also owns the Austin franchise, Gilgronis, and will be based in Venice Beach.

Loyals Rugby CEO Matt Burgess said he felt the team would put rugby on the map in LA.

“The launch of the LA Giltinis and Major League Rugby in Los Angeles will ensure rugby takes its rightful place among the best entertainment products worldwide," he said.

"It is our privilege to bring one of the world’s most popular sports to the world’s most prolific entertainment market."

The 2020 MLR season has been cancelled amid coronavirus and foundation team the Glendale Raptors have pulled out of the competition for 2021.