LA Giltinis Signs Luke Barton

La Giltinis signed Luke Burton for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old flyhalf (27 in Feb) is 6’0” and 205 lbs. He also has played inside center and fullback.

Burton started all five matches before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown the 2020 MLR season. 

Luke is from Perth, Western Australia. He attended Hale School where he played rugby and played age-grade rugby in Western Australia. He also played on the Australia Under-20s in the IRB Junior World Championship in 2013 in France and in 2014 in New Zealand.

He played for Western Force from 2014-2017 and earned 25 Super Rugby caps. He also played for Perth Spirit from 2014-2016, making 11 National Rugby Championship appearances. From 2017-2019 he played in the France Pro 2 with Biarritz Olympique, making over 40 appearances.

LA Giltinis Comments

The LA Giltinis have signed proven five-eighth Luke Burton in a striking show of the club’s magnetic appeal before even playing a match of Major League Rugby. 

Much as the agile playmaker-goalkicker enjoyed his time in San Diego the lure of playing with a new club on a star-laced roster meant LA won out when the Legion tried to retain him. 

“Playing on an inaugural team is a really special opportunity because you get to build the foundations and write our own legacy as a club,” Burton said. 

“Just being involved in MLR for five games showed me rugby is a sleeping giant that is stirring in the USA. 

“With a string of wins, the crowds grew, there was greater chat in the community about rugby and more noise from a great group of fans. 

“All that and more is possible with the Giltinis because we have world-class depth on our roster and can play a big part in huge growth for MLR. 

“Americans love a high-contact sport and helping the momentum of a really appealing competition of fast rugby and good skills is something that motivates me.”  The Giltinis and Legion are certain to ignite an edgy MLR rivalry in a corner of California with a proud history of successful sporting franchises. 

“I never would have imagined my rugby would take me to Los Angeles. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that the game provides,” Burton said. 

“I’ll meet people from all around the world at the Giltinis, teammates will become brothers and you have the opportunity to give back to the community. 

“The journey for MLR these next few years are going to be special.” 

Burton is an avid surfer and has three surfboards waiting at a friend’s place in California for his return to the beaches of the west coast. 

Rugby is in his genes because South Africa’s Springbok center Jesse Kriel is a cousin. 

“Luke played for a successful Junior Wallabies team (Under-20s) and debuted in Super Rugby at 20 so he’s gained experience over a long period,” Giltinis head coach Darren Coleman said. 

“We are lucky to get hold of him. He’s a more natural No.10 with footwork but he has the versatility to play inside center or fullback as well.” 

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant