San Diego Legion & Anthony Salaber
Retraction: New information has surfaced that Anthony Salaber will not be joining the San Diego Legion or any other Major League Rugby team in 2019. He enjoyed his MLR experience in 2018 but has applied to Law School in Sacramento for 2019.
USA Rugby released the 2018 Americas Pacific Challenge squad in October and identified Anthony Salaber playing with the San Diego Legion. The Legion has not officially released their 2019 team, but USA Rugby lists players as unattached when they are not part of a specific club.
Let this article reflect Anthony Salaber’s time in the MLR 2018 season and USA Selects participation since the season ended. Any 2019 MLR reference will be edited.
The San Diego Legion had Anthony Salaber play in the inaugural 2018 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old, 6’5″, 225-pound center was a key contributor for the Legion during the 2018 season.
Salaber attended Dixon High School from 2008-2012 and played both varsity football and rugby there. In 2012 the rugby club won the USA Rugby 2012 Single High School National Championship. He was a High School All-American in both 15s and 7s in 2012. He was selected as the USA Rugby HS Player of the Year in 15s at flyhalf and fullback. He also played rugby sevens in Las Vegas, England and in Argentina in 2012.
After graduation from Dixon HS, he attended the University of California, Berkeley from 2012-2017, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Economic Development.
While at Cal, the team won the Varsity Cup Title in both 2016 and in 2017. They also won the Collegiate Rugby Championship five consecutive years from 2012-2017, with the latter four years when he was on the team.
His individual honors at Cal included being a two time Collegiate All-American in 15s and once in 7s. In 2017 he was a PAC 12 All-Conference selection for both 15s and 7s and was named Back of the Year in 15s. He received Academic Student-Athlete recognition and was the recipient of the 2017 Hugh Preston Leadership Award.
Salaber has given back to his community by serving as a rugby coach with Dixon RFC, his former high school in 2015. He extended his community reach in 2017 as a volunteer for Saving One Another, a non-profit organization supporting orphans in Kathmandu, Nepal.
In 2018 Salaber had a breakout year. He was selected for the USA Falcons SudAmérica Sevens Tour to Punta del Este, Uruguay and Viña del Mar, Chile. He played professional rugby with the San Diego Legion and won Player of the Week honors. He also played for the USA Selects in the Americas Pacific Challenge.
Salaber has a bright future in rugby should he choose to continue with the sport. He already established himself as a try scorer and has made an impression at the National team level. Each individual has important goals and for now, Anthony will turn his attention to pursuing law.