Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami training ground is to be shared with a new rugby union team, the clubs announced on Friday.
The Miami Sharks will join Major League Rugby from next season and will train and play their home games on the facility which is part of the same complex as the club’s DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
“The Miami Sharks will join the Inter Miami CF first team, second team and academy teams at the facilities commencing in the first quarter of 2024,” the club said in a statement.
Like Inter Miami, the Sharks will have a strong Argentinian influence with 33-year-old scrum-half Tomas Cubelli their first major signing.
Cubelli made 89 appearances for Argentina and is part of the team currently appearing in France at the Rugby World Cup.
“I am very excited to join the Miami Sharks in this exhilarating journey and to move to Miami, the capital of the world of professional sports,” said Cubelli.
The Sharks will be coached by Argentine Jose Pellicena, former assistant coach of the country’s national team.
A more direct connection with the team comes in the form of Inter Miami midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi, whose father Pablo represented Argentina in rugby in the 1990s.
“I knew this project was in the works and I am excited for them to get here and get started,” Cremaschi, who made his debut for the United States on Tuesday, told reporters after training on Friday.
“It will be great that this area will have a rugby team so the sport can grow here and in this country,” he added.
Inter Miami are due to move to a new stadium in Miami itself in 2025 but intend to continue training at the Fort Lauderdale venue.
Major League Rugby was founded in 2017 and currently has 12 teams.
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