The Dallas Jackals signed Ryan James Jr. for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 20-year-old fullback (21 in September) is 6’1” and 190 lbs.
Ryan played in two matches as a reserve for the Colorado Raptors in 2020.
Ryan is from San Diego, California and attended Cathedral Catholic High School from 2013-2017. He began playing football at age 7 and turned to rugby at age 12 with the Aztec Warriors U12s and later with the U18s.
Ryan comes from a rugby playing family. His mother Sonya was born and raised in New Zealand and played rugby along with other family members.
Ryan’s family has supported his rugby pursuits and he has developed an extensive rugby resume in the last eight years. He is a three-time High School All-American and has represented the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy since 2013 as a freshman in high school. He has played USA age-grade rugby for the U18s, U19s, and U20s. His senior year, he attended the Junior Men’s All-American Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. He also attended the USA Men’s 7s High-Performance Camp in 2017.
He has attended many rugby tournaments. These include Portland Oregon in 2014, Bakersfield California 2015, Denver Colorado & the Las Vegas 7s in 2016 & 2017, European tours in 2015 & 2017, Utah 7s 2017, and against Canada in 2016 & 2017.
Ryan participated in the Glendale Raptors U23 Academy in 2017-2018 and the San Diego Academy in 2019. In 2020 he should see playing time with the Colorado Raptors, as well as with the Glendale Merlins.
Dallas Jackals Comments
Ryan said, “I love the camaraderie and sense of community the sport offers. This sport has allowed me to travel the world and view different cultures at such a young age. Those experiences were priceless.”
Through the life lessons rugby teaches, Ryan says he’s had the opportunity to help young players during his coaching time with the Nike Rugby Camps in CA and the Glendale Youth teams in CO.
Ryan is the only boy with 3 sisters, so sports has always been an outlet and way to make life-long friendships. His two older sisters swim and play water polo, while his younger sister is following his footsteps in rugby. He says, “my parents are both very supportive in what I’ve been able to accomplish as an athlete, and I am so grateful for all the support I have from my family in Australia and New Zealand.”
Ryan is excited to join a new program and is eager to make an impact in the league. He has no doubt Dallas Jackals fans will bring high energy to every home match! Welcome to the pack Ryan!
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