- San Diego (16-1) is a 6.5-point favorite over New England (15-2) in the Championship Final
- Both the Legion and Free Jacks are looking for their first Major League Rugby Championship Shield
- FOX will broadcast the game from SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois on Saturday, July 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET
The two best teams in Major League Rugby will square off for the Championship Shield on Saturday. San Diego set a new league record with 16 wins this season while New England cruised to this year’s final with 15 victories of their own.
Free Jacks vs Legion
|New England Free Jacks
|San Diego Legion
San Diego favored in Championship Final
San Diego (16-1) is a 6.5-point favorite over New England on Saturday as both franchises seek their first title. The Legion lost to Seattle in the 2019 Championship Final while the Free Jacks are making their debut in the big game.
New England topped the Eastern Conference with a 14-2 regular-season record before crushing Old Glory DC 25-7 in front of their home fans last weekend. The Legion were even more dominant out West. Following a 32-10 beatdown of the Seawolves on Sunday, they’re riding the longest win streak (14 and counting) in MLR history. San Diego also holds all-time season records for most victories (16), most standing points (74), and most different try scorers (29).
— San Diego Sports Domination (@SanDiego_Sports) February 29, 2020
Only previous meeting
San Diego stomped the Free Jacks 29-12 in their home stadium in their only previous meeting this season. Of course, that Round 2 matchup occurred over four months ago on February 26.
One factor that could be play in New England’s favor is rest. They played last week’s semifinal on Saturday, while the Legion suited up for the Western Conference Final on Sunday.
Can the Free Jacks pull off the upset?
Fans of Major League Rugby must be delighted by this year’s Championship Final between two of the league’s juggernauts. San Diego’s only loss this season came over four months ago on March 5th while New England hasn’t dropped a game since March 31st. Both clubs were also perfect at home, setting up an epic neutral site showdown at SeatGeek Stadium, home of the expansion Chicago Hounds.
While they enjoyed a record-breaking regular season, the Legion’s +269 point differential actually trailed New England’s league-leading +282 mark. However, that’s likely due to the poor competition in the Eastern Conference, where the Free Jacks were the only team to finish with an over .500 record.
📷 New England Free Jacks getting ready for the Major League Rugby Championship Final – which will be against San Diego on Saturday in Chicago pic.twitter.com/m9Szy3t1bD
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) July 6, 2023
Saturday’s game is setting up as an all-time classic between two clubs with a combined 31-3 record this season. While it’s a shame either team has to lose, the weak competition in the Eastern Conference can’t be overlooked.
After sharpening their skills against better squads all season, San Diego will win the franchise’s first Championship Shield on Saturday.
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