Rugby United New York has added to their strong contingent of players from Ireland and of Irish descent, signing James Rochford at prop for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. He is 25-years-old, 6’3″, and 269 lbs.
James began playing rugby with Crosshaven RFC at age 5 and continued with the Cork club until he was 18. He helped lead the team to two Munster Under-16s and two Under-18s Championships and was the captain of the U18s.
He then played with Cork Constitution winning the All Ireland Bateman Cup twice, before switching to Dolphin RFC for the 2014-2015 season. With Dolphin RFC he was named Club Player of the Year.
James then moved to Rome for two years, playing with Lazio in the Italian Eccellenza. He also played in two European Challenge Cup qualifying matches with the club.
James returned to Ireland and played with Dolphin RFC in the Ulster Bank Division 1B and with Munster before signing a contract with Rugby United New York for the 2019 Major League Rugby season.
Rugby United New York Comments
“Despite still being a young man, James has really honed his craft as a prop,” Head Coach Mike Tolkin told us. “He has worked in excellent set-ups with very good coaches. He clearly takes pride in his scrummaging and we’re eager to get his front-row talents and overall ability to New York.”
“I would expect nothing less, as new guys on the block, that we have a big bullseye on our backs. But, I expect us to come out guns blazing for our first year in Major League Rugby,” added Rochford. “I want to be competing for the title come playoff time. Teams are going to have to play their best rugby if they want to beat us. I’m really looking forward to adding my bit to the history books of New York rugby.”
Rugby United New York will begin the 2019 Major League Rugby season in San Diego, when they face off against the Legion on January 27th at 5 PM EST. The game will be available LIVE on both SNY and ESPN+.