San Diego Legion’s Ben Mitchell will be back for the 2021 Major League Rugby season as part of the second year of his contract. The 26-year-old lock (27 in April) is 6’7″, and 255 lbs.
Ben was a reserve for weeks 2 and 3 before starting the final two matches for the Legion in the truncated 2020 MLR season.
Ben was the captain of Austin Elite Rugby from 2018 through 2019. He was regarded as the best player on the team and played in 15 of the team’s 16 games. He was among the league leaders in dominant tackles and in carries. He also was named to the All-MLR Second Team. In 2019 he played 1129 minutes in the 15 matches he started, carried 143 times for 699 meters, had 4 linebreaks, 1 tackle break, 9 offloads, 1 kick for 18 meters, and made 200 tackles. He was also 7th in the MLR in lineout takes with 43 and 4th in lineout steals with five. In 2018 he started all 8 matches and played 620 minutes.
Mitchell was born in Nottingham, England, and moved to Ireland when he was 6 years old. He then began playing rugby that same year at Youghal RFC, East Cork, Ireland, the local club side. Mitchell attended High school at Midleton College, East Cork, playing center and fullback and was selected on the Munster School’s team in 2011 as a center.
After graduating high school, he attended University College Cork in 2012, majoring in Economics and Finance. He also played rugby with UCC RFC. During his first year with the club, he was moved from the center to the second row. For the first one and a half years, he played on the under 20s team and by 2014 made his debut in the senior/ All Ireland league, where he played on the senior team for over 5 seasons from 2014 through to the 2017/18 season. The UCC RFC was promoted from division 2 to division 1 of the All Ireland League in the 2015/2016 season. Mitchell was also honored as the UCC RFC player of the year on 2 occasions and played his last game for the team in November 2017.
Representative Rugby Honors
Ben Mitchell played for Munster A/Development team against the Ireland 20s in May 2016 at Thomond Park in Limerick. He also played on the Irish Universities team in 2016 and 2017.
Rugby in the United States
Mitchell played for the Gentlemen of Aspen in the Rocky Mountain Summer League during 2016 and 2017. Following the 2019 season, he was named the Head Coach of the Gentlemen of Aspen.
He signed with Austin Elite Rugby in October 2017 and was the perceived team MVP during the 2018 & 2019 Major League Rugby seasons. He then signed with San Diego Legion for 2020 and 2021.
Ben has been playing professionally in the United States since 2018 and has spent time with the Gentlemen of Aspen since 2016. Ben is a dominant lock and might be a future USA National Team player. According to American Rugby News, Ben will qualify for the USA on three-year residency in December of this year. With World Rugby delaying the Regulation 8 amendment to January of 2022, Mitchell will be eligible to represent the Eagles at any point in 2021.
San Diego Legion Comments
‘Big’ Ben Mitchell will be back with the San Diego Legion in 2021!
His rugby knowledge, combined with his exceptional work rate, make him a threat on the field. We’re thrilled to have him return for the 2021 season of Major League Rugby.