Feb 7, 2020 - Sports

Major League Rugby kicks off its 3rd season

Vetekina Malafu of Old Glory DC scores a try in an exhibition match against Navy last month. Photo: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Major League Rugby kicks off its third season this weekend, with all 12 teams in action across North America.

What to watch: Three expansion teams — Old Glory DC, Rugby ATL (Atlanta) and New England Freejacks — will be making their debut, along with some impressive global talent.

  • Tendai Mtawarira, who helped South Africa capture the 2019 World Cup title, has joined Old Glory DC.
  • Ma'a Nonu, who helped the New Zealand All-Blacks capture the 2011 and 2015 World Cup crowns, has joined the San Diego Legion.
  • Rene Ranger, who played for the All-Blacks from 2010 to 2013, has joined the Colorado Raptors.

Weekend slate (full schedule):

  • Saturday: Colorado Raptors at Houston SaberCats; Old Glory DC at NOLA Gold
  • Sunday: Utah Warriors at Rugby ATL; Rugby United NY at New England Free Jacks; Seattle Seawolves (two-time defending champs) at San Diego Legion; Toronto Arrows at Austin Gilgronis

Go deeper: The rules of rugby

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XFL 2.0 prepares for kickoff

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A reboot of one of America's most infamous sports leagues kicks off this weekend, with billionaire wrestling mogul Vince McMahon betting once more that football fans are hungry for more football.

What they're saying: Whereas the old XFL leaned on gimmicks and stunts when it first launched (and failed) 19 years ago, the new XFL is presenting itself as a league focused entirely on quality of play and the on-field product.

Go deeperArrowFeb 7, 2020 - Sports

Overwatch League is taking esports local in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Over its first two seasons, the Overwatch League's city-based esports franchises played their matches in a designated arena in L.A. This year, the league goes local, with all 20 teams hosting competitions in their home cities. This weekend's hosts: NYC and Dallas.

Why it matters: This home-and-away format represents a giant leap in the maturation of an esports league that eventually wants to look like the NFL, except on an international scale, according to Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, which developed the game and operates the league.

Go deeperArrowFeb 6, 2020 - Sports

U.S. evacuee with coronavirus initially discharged from hospital

Personnel in biological hazard suits welcome passengers evacuated from Wuhan, China, at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California. Photo: Matt Hartman/AFP via Getty Images

An evacuee from Wuhan, China, who became the 13th person in the U.S. to be infected with the novel coronavirus, was initially mistakenly released from a California hospital, UC San Diego Health said in a statement Monday.

Details: Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told San Diego Public Health "four patients being evaluated for 2019-nCoV at UC San Diego Health had tested negative for the virus," according to the statement. They were discharged and returned to federal quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar "at the CDC's direction," it said.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - Health