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New York is set to get a professional rugby team for the first time, writes .

Major League Rugby announced that Rugby United New York will join the US league in 2019, and will have former Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan and Irish winger Shane Horgan on board as advisors.

Major League Rugby is set to launch in April and will be the highest level of American rugby with seven teams competing in 2018, stretching to eight when RUNY join in 2019.

Pics: Sportsfile

The 2018 league will be made up of Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors, Houston SaberCats, NOLA Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves and Utah Warriors.

"It is incredibly exciting to see a professional rugby club launching in the greater New York area," said O'Sullivan, speaking to .

"It is a rugby region with immense potential and it is hugely encouraging the vision involves building a franchise from the grassroots upwards engaging age-grade, university and club rugby.

"I have no doubt it will play a key role in bringing USA Rugby to the next level."

Former USA Eagles boss Mike Tolkin will serve as RUNY head coach and will be joined by assistants Bruce McLane, Andrew Britt and Vili Vakasisikakala on the coaching ticket.

"This is a particularly historic moment for rugby in New York," Tolkin stated.

"This will be the first domestic professional endeavor in the city and it provides an opportunity for the wealth of talented players and coaches found in our great local clubs to come together as a formidable team."

The team will play a series of exhibition games throughout 2018, starting with a game against Boston in Gaelic Park in March.

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