Rugby United New York re-signed James Rochford for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old prop (28 in November) is 6’3″, and 270 lbs.
James started for the RUNY in their final three matches, after missing the first two due to the birth of his first child. His inclusion immediately paid dividends for the team as an anchor in the front row.
James was one of the leading props in MLR in 2019. He played 1042 minutes while playing in all 17 matches. He often switched from loosehead to tighthead prop based on the team’s need during the match. Rooster #2 had 76 carries for 299 meters, made 114 tackles, and had 2 lineout takes with 1 steal.
James is a team leader and his leadership will be invaluable when he returns for 2020.
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.