San Diego Legion signed Canadian International Josh Thiel for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 23-year-old fullback/flyhalf/center is 6’0″ and 220 lbs.
Josh joined the Legion during the truncated 2020 season after his visa was processed and played as a reserve during the final two matches.
Josh was born in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, and comes from a rugby family. His father Jon earned 44 caps for Canada as a prop, played in three Rugby World Cups, and played in the Top 14, English Premiership and PRO 14. His mother Jen (Ross) played prop in the 1994 Rugby World Cup for Canada, earned 4 caps, and was the Canadian Coach of the Year in 2012. His twin brother Jake, a loose forward, played for the Canada Sevens team on the World Sevens Series circuit.
Josh attended Robert Bateman Secondary School form 2011-2015 and played rugby, football, and basketball. He was selected to the Senior Men’s All-City team in 2015. He was the U16s MVP with the team winning the Gold medal at Nationals. In 2013 the U17s won the Canada West Cup and the U18s advanced to Nationals again in 2014.
He played age-grade rugby for British Columbia from the U14s through the U18s. He played club rugby with Abbotsford RFC and with the Fraser Valley Rugby Union. He also helped the BC Bears defeat the Wolf Pack for the Western Championship in 2015.
Jake’s National team involvement included his selection along with his brother Jake to represent Canada U18s tour to Ireland. He also played in the 2017 World Rugby U20 Trophy competition. Josh was part of the Pacific Pride national development program. He won his first test cap as a fullback against Chile in the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship. He also played flyhalf and inside center for Canada XV. Both Josh and Jake represented Canada at the Pan American Games in 2019 at Lima, Peru, earning silver medals.
In 2019 Josh played with Stars Rugby in the Alaskan Midnight Suns Sevens.