Ex-Bath and England coach Mike Ford joins Dallas in US Major League Rugby

Coach most recently with Toulon signeds long-term contract in new league aiming to begin play in outpouring 2018 as groups push for US success

The onetime Bath, England and Lions instruct Mike Ford has signed with the Dallas Griffins, one of nine units organizing Major League Rugby, a US competition which aims to begin play in 2018.

Fords recently completed character was with Toulon, runners-up in the French Top 14, whom he left in May in order to commit himself to another projection from next summer. Last Saturday, he attended the US-AIreland tournament at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey with Phil Camm, the British-born Dallas chief executive.

Ive been talking to Phil about such projects for well over a year and the challenge truly elicits me. Ford said in an emailed explanation. Its a chance to take me out of my comfort region and the experience will be invaluable.

The opportunity to work from the beginning with a like-minded, trusted group of parties, who all demand the same occasion and to create an environment and cultural activities that hopefully will have a lasting gift, is too good to turn down. That work starts now.

Major League Rugby will at first employ a mix of professional and semi-professional players and about to be realm crews in Glendale, Colorado; Kansas City; Houston, Dallas and Austin; New Orleans, Seattle, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.

In May, MLR deputy commissioner Nick Benson told the US website Rugby Today the tournament was targeting outpouring 2018 for kick-off, supplementing: We would like to get our season in before the June[ international] window.

MLR is one of a number of projects seeking to establish professional rugby in the US. PRO Rugby, a five-team tournament sanctioned by governing body USA Rugby, completed a season in 2016. A Super 7s competition recently announced plans to kick-off in July 2018 and the Pro1 2 is looking at situating a crew in America. In September the Aviva Premiership will stage two seconds regular-season recreation in the US, when Saracens play Newcastle in Philadelphia.

Ford follows Justin Fitzpatrick to Texas and into MLR, the onetime Ulster and Ireland prop having indicated to instruct the Houston Strikers.

We are aroused to have Mr Ford in the MLR network, said competition commissioner Dean Howes. His event, achievement and dedication to the athletic will add incredible significance on and off the field.

Mr Ford will join a talented and suffered group of MLR coach-and-fours committed to elevating high levels of the American game. We are looking forward to the launch and countless seasons ahead.

Camm announced Ford had signed a long-term contract and added that the new Dallas coach, known for his attention to detail and immense task ethic, would work on developing rugby in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

Fords playing job was in rugby conference, as a scrum-half for Oldham, Wigan, Castleford, Warrington, the South Queensland Crushers, England and Great Britain. In rugby confederation, prior to his time with Toulon, he was head instruct at Saracens and Bath and defense tutor for Ireland and England and with the 2005 British and Irish Lions. His son, George Ford, is the current England fly-half.

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