NOLA Gold Rugby Club has re-signed Nikola Bursic through the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old back-row/lock is from Torrance, California, and resides in Santiago, Chile. He is 6’2″ and 250 lbs.
Nikola played 132 minutes in three matches, twice as a starter, and scored one try during the pandemic shortened 2020 season. He was a reserve against Austin Gilgronis in the team’s 2021 preseason match.
In 2019 he played 606 minutes in 10 matches, 9 as a starter, and scored two tries. He carried 78 times for 447 meters, had 1 line break, 3 tackles breaks, and made 108 tackles.
In 2018 he played 635 minutes starting 8 times and scored one try.
He graduated from Craighouse School in Santiago and played rugby for the COBS (Craighouse Old Boys) from 2011-2015.
Nikola played 11 times for the Chile Under-20s in 2012, scoring one try. He was part of the U20s squad that went to the World Rugby Trophy competition that year.
Nikola made his debut for the Chile Men’s Rugby National Team, Los Cóndores, on November 9, 2013, against Spain in Santiago. He was selected for the Americas Rugby Championship in 2016 through 2018. His last National team appearance was against the New Zealand Maori at Santiago, Nov 17, 2018. So far, he has 28 caps, 26 of them as a starter, has scored 4 tries.
Nikola was a key contributor for NOLA Gold during 2019. Ryan Fitzgerald, General Manager of NOLA Gold Rugby indicated that “Nikola brings an extra edge of physicality and toughness for us day in and day out. He’s a versatile player that can cover No.’s 4-8 in the pack. He’s been a very consistent player week in and week out for the last two years and we’re glad to have him in the fight with us for two more seasons.”
Nikola Bursic and Professional Rugby
Nikola became a professional rugby player for the San Diego Breakers in 2016. When Major League Rugby began in 2018, he was signed to the New Orleans Gold Rugby Club and has established himself as a force around the pitch.
He was NOLA Gold’s Players award winner in 2018. With a ball in hand, he had a stellar first season in the Gold jersey. He is another player in the forward pack with international experience to his name and provides team leadership.