Rugby United New York signed former New Zealand All Black scrumhalf, Andy Ellis, for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 36-year-old (37 in February) is 5’9″ and 196 lbs.
Andy was contemplating retirement after the premature ending of the 2020 Japanese Top league season with his family leaving Japan ahead of him back to New Zealand. Instead of retiring, he felt he had more left in the tank with an adventure waiting in New York to play with RUNY during the 2021 MLR season.
Andy is from Christchurch, New Zealand. He attended Burnside High School from 1997-2001, and then attended Lincoln University, where he spent 2 1/2 years pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture, before turning his attention full time to rugby. He since has become an award-winner gardener.
The All Black #1068 began his senior rugby playing with Canterbury in 2005, where he made 73 appearances, scoring 84 points, and playing in the ITM Cup (now Mitre 10 Cup), through the 2013 season. He also played Super Rugby with the Crusaders from 2006-2016, making 154 appearances and scoring 144 points. He then moved to the Japanese Top League to play with the Kobelco Steelers from 2014 until 2020, until the league canceled their season.
Andy was selected to the New Zealand Colts, the National U21s, and made 4 appearances and scored 2 tries in 2005. He made his All Blacks debut against England at Twickenham on 5 November 2006 and his last of his 28 tests was against Argentina n 17 July 2015. In between, he appeared in 3 Bledisloe Cup matches, scoring 1 try, 7 times at the Rugby Championship, scoring another try, and in 7 matches during the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups. He was selected as an injury replacement for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, however, he did not play during the tournament. He also featured for the Barbarians in their 2010 win over South Africa, as well as for the Barbarians side against the All Blacks in 2017.
Family and Business Interests
Andy launched Gravity Satellite, to help connect remote Kiwis in rural areas of New Zealand. He also entered the hospitality industry in 2018 when he opened the Mad Samurai in Snickel Lane, off Customs St East in Auckland. After spending many seasons with the Kobe Kobelco Steelers in Japan, as well as a love for wagyu beef, this seems to have ignited his passion for Japanese food.
Andy and his wife Emma, along with their two children, Scarlett (10) and Arthur, (6) should have a new cultural opportunity when they come to New York in 2021. The family is all excited about heading to New York.
RugbyBricks Podcast: Andy Ellis – Crusaders Culture + Rugby Career
Andy Ellis is a halfback who was previously playing for the Kobelco Steelers until COVID-19 hit. Ellis has played for Canterbury, then the Crusaders and made 28 appearances for the All Blacks. (Apr 29, 2020)