Rugby United New York & Ross Deacon
Rugby United New York announced that flanker Ross Deacon has re-signed a contract for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old started all three matches for RUNY during the 2018 exhibition season and was then sent on loan to MLR’s Austin Elite.
Deacon was born in San Francisco but moved to Ireland at a young age. While there, he developed into an accomplished rugby player. His talents were apparent as he was a standout player while at Kilkenny College, attending there from 2006 to 2012.
After graduation, he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Science from University College in Dublin from 2012 until graduation in 2015.
Knowing that Deacon was U.S. eligible, his rugby prowess was followed by US National team selectors. In 2013, he appeared for the USA Under-20 team in the Junior World Rugby Championship qualifiers beating Canada and then in the JWRC facing England, South Africa, and France.
In 2016 Deacon moved back to the U.S. and has been playing with New York Athletic Club since then. He excelled in the Atlantic Rugby Premiership. He also played in a representative match for Stars Rugby XV at lock against the Capital Selects on January 29, 2017.
Rugby United New York, who had Associate team Major League Rugby status in 2018, signed him and the 6’2″ and 242 pound back row started all three matches.
At the conclusion of the exhibition season, he was loaned to Austin Elite for the inaugural 2018 Major League Rugby season. There he played in all eight matches, starting five of them and scored one try.
Deacon is a young talented back row player, who has also played lock. His experience and versatility should make him an important team member as RUNY enters the 2019 MLR season and seeks a Championship.
Rugby United New York Comments
Mike Ruddock, who coached Wales to a Grand Slam in the 2005 Six Nations Tournament, was his head coach while at Lansdowne. Ruddock said “We are delighted to hear that Ross has signed a professional contract for RUNY. Ross loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and making the hard yards. Everyone at Lansdowne Club is proud to say that he learned his trade in the AIL before heading over to the United States. We are confident he will do a fantastic job for his new club.”
Deacon said, “Playing in the MLR in 2018 was a great experience. It was good to be in a professional environment and train full-time. I’m excited to play the upcoming season in New York, where I have lived and worked for nearly two years now.”
General Manager James English indicated that “Ross is a doer, he rolls his sleeves up and gets the job done. He is a big man, with even bigger aspirations. I think Ross is in for a big year with Major League Rugby.”
Head Coach Mike Tolkin added that “He brings a real impact to the game on both sides of the ball. His fiercely competitive demeanor suits us well. His consistency, and impressive skill set will be valuable to RUNY over the course of the long MLR season. We’re glad that he’s staying home in NYC.”
Deacon closed by saying that “Everyone has high expectations for RUNY in our first MLR season. We will have a lot of talent in the squad, and we will be pushing each other to bring out the best performances possible.”