LA Giltinis signed Adam Ashley-Cooper for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 36-year-old center/wing (37 in March) is 6’0″ and 216 lbs.
Adam is from Camperdown, Australia. He attended Berkeley Vale Community High School and played junior rugby for the Ourimbah Razorbacks.
He joined the Brumbies in 2004 on an ARU development contract and played for the Australia Sevens Team. He also played provincial rugby with Northern Suburbs from 2004-2015.
Adam made his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies at home against the Crusaders in 2005 and made 78 appearances through 2011. From 2012-2015 he played for the Waratahs. He also played for the NSW County Eagles in 2014.
Following the 2015 Rugby World Cup, he played for the Bordeaux Bègles in France and then went to Japan and played with the Kobelco Steelers during the 2017-2018 season. In 2019 it was back to the Waratahs and in 2020 it appeared that with the new Australian ownership of Adam Gilchrist that he signed with the Austin Gilgronis. The 2020 MLR season ended prematurely after five matches due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the visa approval process did not allow for his arrival prior to season’s end.
Adam Gilchrist also owns the LA Giltinis, who is joining MLR in 2021. Adam had a chance to play with some of his mates, as well as to add his leadership for the team and to foster the league’s development.
Australia National Team
In addition to playing with the Australia Sevens Tean, Adam made his debut for the Wallabies in Perth against South Africa on August 20, 2005. The last of his 121 tests came in the 2019 Rugby World Cup against Uruguay on Oct 5, 2019.
Adam has played 19 matches in four Rugby World Cups beginning in 2007. He also played 47 times in The Rugby Championship and in 30 Bledisloe Cup matches.
LA Giltinis Comments
The LA Giltinis are today excited to announce the signing of Australia’s four-time Rugby World Cup star and his vast experience.
Recruiting the proven winner on a one-year deal is a coup that magnifies the chances of a flying start when the new club debuts in Major League Rugby in March.
Only 16 players in rugby history have played more Tests than Ashley-Cooper (121) over his 15-year run (2005-19) which netted 39 tries.
Ashley-Cooper, 36, is highly motivated to make a positive mark as an outside centre or winger after shelving retirement ideas to taste rugby American-style.
“The opportunity to play rugby in the US, travel the country to enjoy everything it has to offer, and share in a real movement of rapid growth for the game is very appealing,” Ashley-Cooper said.
“Having played in France and Japan, I’ve really enjoyed embracing different cultures but also the Barbarians-style dynamic within those teams of players from around the world.
“It’s a hard thing to turn down with that same dynamic at the Giltinis.
“Everyone talks about the LA lifestyle and I want to experience the very positive culture of big, loud, and fun in their sports.”
His name lengthens the roster of talent from eight countries at the newest professional sporting franchise to call Los Angeles home.
His nine Test tries against the All Blacks is exceptional and he has won a Super Rugby championship with the NSW Waratahs (2014) and Japan’s Top League title with Kobe Steelers (2018).
What Ashley-Cooper has learned about winning formulas within a team environment translates to the Giltinis.
“Performance starts before you even run onto the field with a really positive team culture built around collectively buying in so everyone puts the team first, you are respectful and each bloke is accountable to our standards,” Ashley-Cooper said.
“I’ve known (head coach) Darren Coleman for a long while and he has a really good grasp of bringing people together on and off the field. I’m very confident in his role.”
Ashley-Cooper credited his signing to a vision of Adam Gilchrist, the key figure behind Loyals Rugby, the rugby investment company which is the primary owner of the Giltinis.
“I’ve had a long association with Adam back to club rugby at Norths in Sydney in 2006,” Coleman said.
“He’s the consummate professional and will bring amazing experience and competitiveness to the Giltinis.
“His presence will be invaluable for the young American and Canadian outside backs in our squad and Adam will have a fair bit of input to tactics and our game plans.”
The Giltinis make their exciting MLR debut at home against the New England Free Jacks on March 20.