San Diego Legion will play the Glendale Raptors at Torero Stadium in their final preseason match before the regular season. Kickoff is at 2 pm PT with admission for adults $10, children $5, and Legion ticketholders free. The match will be streamed for those who can’t attend.
Last week the Legion beat Life West 76-0 in their first preseason match. The Glendale Raptors played a Fall exhibition season, but the match against the Legion will be their first 2019 encounter. The Raptors will finish their preseason on January 19 at the Houston SaberCats.
Both teams will open their regular Major League Rugby season on Sunday, January 27. The Legion will host Rugby United New York at 2 pm PT with the match being broadcast on ESPN+, SNY, and YurView. The Raptors will travel to Seattle to face the Seawolves in a re-match of the 2018 Championship Final at 7:30 pm PT. That match will be broadcast on CBSSN as the Game of the Week.
The Glendale Raptors have an experienced side which includes four new additions in the starting XV. Former University of Utah All-American Chad Gough is at hooker, capped Eagles Brendan Daly and Hanco Germishuys are at lock and flanker, respectively, and Dylan Taikato-Simpson at fullback. Taikato-Simpson has played professionally in Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Scotland, and Italy. The props include Blake Rogers, who played at the University of Colorado and USA Selects Kelepi Fifita. Kody O’Neil, who played for the Seattle Saracens and Ponsonby in New Zealand joins Shute Shield Luke White at lock. Luke will be USA eligible this month. Connor Cook, a former Collegiate All-American from Arkansas State rounds out the forwards at No. 8.
The backs include Eagles scrumhalf and flyhalf, Shaun Davies and Will Magie, former Eagles XVs and 7s player Ata Malifa and the USA Selects Mika Kruse as centers, and former Collegiate All-American Harley Davidson joining long-time Raptors wing Nick Johnson.
Raptors reserves include new additions Marco Fepulea’i, a prop who played in the Mitre 10 Cup, Malon Al-Jiboori a flanker, who played for the Eagles 7s and the USA Selects, South African PRO14 Rugby and Currie Cup flyhalf Robbie Petzer, and South African flanker Dwayne Pienaar. Rounding out the reserves are former Eagle Zach Fenoglio at hooker, Canterbury Country and Wheeling Jesuit prop Max Lum, South African scrumhalf Carlo De Nysschen, and Mount St. Mary’s fullback Campbell Johnstone.
The San Diego Legion have not named their matchday squad yet. The team squad is listed below along with links for player profile articles for both the Legion and the Raptors.
The Legion signed a pair of Australia Super Rugby props in Matt Sandell and Paddy Ryan to go along with Faka’osi Pifeleti, who played with the Saracens Storm, Sione Tu’halamaka, who played with the San Diego Breakers, with developing young talent Aaron Mitchell and Nathan Sylvia.
The team is stocked at hooker, with Eagles XVs and 7s player Pat Blair, Kapeli Pifeleti, who played with the USA Selects, Super Rugby player Deon Muir and Gil Covey, who will be playing with Life West this weekend.
The team has added New Zealand lock Liam Hallam-Eames and former Eagle Lou Stanfill to go along with Eagle Siaosi Mahoni and Jay Harmon, a standout player for OMBAC.
Back row additions include Eagle Psalm Wooching and Belmont Shore No.8 Keni Nasoqeqe. They join Saint Mary’s Alec Barton, OMBAC and Philippine National Team player Derrick Broussard, USA Falcon Devin Short, Chris Turori, a capped Eagles 7s player, and Drew Gaffney at No 8, who played for Olympic Club and Cal.
The halfbacks include Eagles scrumhalf/wing Nate Augspurger, Nick Boyer, a capped Eagles 7s player, Tai Enosa, a former Eagles XVs, and 7s player, Super Rugby flyhalf/fullback Joe Pietersen, and the USA Selects flyhalf/fullback, Conor Kearns.
Centers include Eagles XVs Dylan Audsley and Eagles XV 7s 7s Ryan Matyas, Super Rugby JP du Plessis, and young OMBAC 7s talent Nick Lupian.
In the back three are Eagles XVs & 7s Mike Te’o, Fiji 7s player Jasa Veremalua, Fijian former Easts Tigers try scorer Save Totovosau, and Nick Evans who plays for OMBAC.
San Diego Legion: TBA
- Prop – Faka’osi Pifeleti, Matt Sandell, Sione Tu’ihalamaka, Aaron Mitchell, Paddy Ryan, Nathan Sylvia
- Hooker – Pat Blair, Gil Covey, Kapeli Pifeleti, Deon Muir
- Lock – Liam Hallam-Eames, Jay Harmon, Siaosi Mahoni, Lou Stanfill
- Back Row – Alec Barton, Derrick Broussard, Devin Short, Chris Turori, Psalm Wooching, Drew Gaffney, Keni Nasoqeqe
- Scrum Half – Nate Augspurger (SH/W), Nick Boyer, Tai Enosa (SH/FH)
- Flyhalf – Joe Pietersen
- Center – Dylan Audsley, JP du Plessis, Nick Lupian, Ryan Matyas
- Back 3: Nick Evans, Save Totovosau, Jasa Veremalua, Conor Kearns (FB/FH), Mike Te’o
Glendale Raptors: 1 Blake Rogers 2 Chad Gough 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 Kody O’Neil 5 Luke White (VC) 6 Brendan Daly 7 Hanco Germishuys 8 Connor Cook 9 Shaun Davies (C) 10 Will Magie 11 Harley Davidson 12 Ata Malifa 13 Mika Kruse 14 Nick Johnson 15 Dylan Taikato-Simpson 16 Zach Fenoglio 17 Marco Fepulea’i 18 Max Lum 19 Dwayne Pienaar 20 Malon Al-Jiboori 21 Carlo De Nysschen 22 Robbie Petzer 23 Campbell Johnstone