Major League Rugby Commissioner George Killebrew Steps Down

Feb 24, 2023, 11:17 AM | Updated: 12:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITYMajor League Rugby announced that the league’s commissioner, George Killebrew, is stepping down from his position amid the start of the 2023 season.

The MLR announced Killebrew’s departure as its commissioner on Friday, February 24.

Killebrew had served as Major League Rugby commissioner since 2019.

“Our collective accomplishments to pave the way for rugby’s popularity in the United States have proven incredibly rewarding,” Killebrew said in a statement. “Looking to replicate the advance of Major League Soccer in its ability to grow the sport in America, we’ve focused on youth athletics and growing rugby from the ground up. Our success in securing Rugby’s World Cups gives us an eight-year runway to continue growing the game and its audiences, making rugby more of a household brand.”

Former MLR deputy commissioner Nic Benson will assume Killebrew’s responsibilities under the title of Major League Rugby CEO. Benson was part of the group the started Major League Rugby. He was deputy commissioner of the league for four years before serving as Chief Operating Officer of the Utah Warriors.

Since the summer he has been in a board advisory role, working with Killebrew and the league office to lead strategic initiatives,” the MLR said of Benson in a statement. “His in-depth understanding of the league, media expertise, and knowledge of the professional rugby ecosystem will ensure a smooth transition and continued growth in 2023.”

“Since joining MLR, Killebrew has worked tirelessly to build a strong media presence, increase ticket sales and sponsorship revenues and foster rugby participation across North America,” Ryan Patterson, Chairman of the MLR Board of Directors said of the former commissioner. “We’re incredibly grateful for his leadership and the runway he has skillfully created for rugby’s future success as we continue to move forward.”

RELATED: Utah Warriors Fall In Season-Opener Against San Diego Legion

The 2023 MLR season recently got underway. Utah suffered a loss to the San Diego Legion in its season opener. The Warriors’ next game is at home against the Dallas Jackals on Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m. (MDT). The game can be streamed on the KSL Sports app and KSLSports.com.

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Major League Rugby Commissioner George Killebrew Steps Down