The Seattle Seawolves re-signed Ross Neal for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old center is 6’5″ and 240bs.
The Seawolves had high expectations for the former Wasps center for the 2020 season, as he scored a try against the Vancouver Island Crimson Tide and two more against the Tasman Makos in the preseason matches. However, a broken thumb in his opening regular-season match at outside center derailed him for the rest of the COVID-19 shortened season.
Following the truncated season, Ross signed a short-term contract with the London Irish, an English Premiership club, and later played with the London Royals at the World Tens Series in November in Bermuda.
Ross was born in Flackwell Heath in the civil parish of Chepping Wycombe on the outskirts of High Wycombe, Buckingham, England. He attended Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe, graduating in 2014. Ross signed an Academy contract with the London Irish and played with the U18s.
Ross made six appearances for the London Irish from 2014-2017 and was dually registered with the National League Esher. He then moved to the London Scottish initially on loan before making a permanent move for the 2017-2018 season where he played in all 22 matches and scored 8 tries.
Then it was on to the Wasps for the 2018-2019 season. He made 13 appearances for the first team in Premiership and the Heineken Champions Cup.
Seattle Seawolves & Wasps 2020 Comments
The Seattle Seawolves indicated that “Major League Rugby is a very exciting league to be a part of and from what I’ve heard, the Seawolves have one of the best setups,” said Neal. “When the opportunity came up to move out to Seattle and play in this League — I had to take it and can’t wait to get started with the team.”
The Wasps indicated the Ross had only played 13 times for the first-team and has been allowed to make the switch across the pond to pursue a new challenge.
Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We have a lot of competition for places in the backline and unfortunately we couldn’t guarantee Ross a lot of game-time.
“Ross approached me to ask if he could take up this opportunity in the USA and it’s a great chance for him to play regular first-team rugby and test himself on a different stage.
“We’d like to thank Ross for his efforts over the past 18 months and we wish him the best of luck in his new venture.”
Neal, 23, added: “I’ve enjoyed my time at Wasps but the opportunity to get more game-time and test myself in the USA was something that really appealed to me.
“I’d like to thank the Club for giving me this opportunity and wish everyone associated with Wasps all the best moving forward.”