Rugby United New York has the best record in Major League Rugby at 7-1 and is in third place in the standings with 32 points. They open the second half of the season hosting the San Diego Legion at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
Kickoff is at 1 pm ET with tickets still available. The match may be viewed on ESPN+, SNY, and on Fox 5 San Diego and on delay on NBC Sports Washington, and NBC Sports Philadelphia+. April 14 is Youth Day with children under 12 admitted free.
The San Diego Legion has a 6-2-1 record and are in fifth place with 31 points. The teams met in week one in San Diego with RUNY winning 25-23.
Rugby United New York Head Coach Mike Tolkin has made six changes to his starters with Dyland Fawsitt, Alex MacDonald, and Ross Deacon returning to the forwards at hooker, lock, and No. 8, respectively. In the backs, the halfbacks will be Mike Petri and Cathal Marsh, with Connor Wallace-Sims at wing.
Kyle Sumsion returns to the matchday squad after fulfilling coaching responsibilities with Army West Point.
San Diego Legion Head Coach Rob Hoadley has kept his starters in place and has made two changes in the reserves ad Sione Tu’halmaka and Conor Kearns, replace Siaosi Mahoni and Kyle Rogers, respectively.
The match is expected to be a close one with the team who commits the fewest errors winning. RUNYhas an edge in winning their scrums 93% to 86% for the Legion. A key battle up front will be James Rochford against Paddy Ryan. Both players will last about 55 minutes before reserves will be needed.
The San Diego Legion is ranked first in defense, but RUNY is one of the best in getting the ball out wide and placing pressure on the defense. Discipline has been an issue in recent weeks for the Legion. RUNY strategy has been to use errors to kick for territory in an effort to score tries from lineouts. While the Legion also score tries, they have perhaps most accurate kicker in the league in Joe Pietersen and will take the points when they can. RUNY can answer with a kicking game of Cathal Marsh or Chris Mattina.
Squads with Player Article Links
Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Paddy Ryan 4 Alex MacDonald 5 Nate Brakeley (C) 6 John Quill 7 James Denise 8 Ross Deacon 9 Mike Petri 10 Cathal Marsh 11 Seimou Smith 12 Mark O’Keeffe 13 Chris Mattina 14 Connor Wallace-Sims 15 Ben Foden16 Mike Brown17 Anthony Parry 18 Chris Sullivan 19 Kyle Sumsion 20 Matt Hughston 21 Marcus Walsh 22 Harry Bennett 23 Gavan D’Amore Morrison + Head Coach Mike Tolkin
San Diego Legion: 1 Faka’osi Pifeleti 2 Deon Muir 3 Paddy Ryan (VC) 4 Lou Stanfill 5 Jasa Veremalua 6 Psalm Wooching 7 Devin Short 8 Jordan Manihera 9 Nate Augspurger 10 Joe Pietersen (C) 11 Ryan Matyas 12 JP du Plessis 13 Dylan Audsley 14 Save Totovosau 15 Mike Te’o16 Kapeli Pifeleti 17 Nathan Sylvia 18 Aaron Mitchell 19 Sione Tu’ihalamaka 20 Drew Gaffney 21 Nick Boyer 22 Tai Enosa 23 Conor Kearns + Head Coach Rob Hoadley