The LA Giltinis signed Australia speedster Brooklyn Hardaker for the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 22-year-old wing is 5’10” and 200 lbs.
Brooklyn is from Bronte, New South Wales, Australia, and attended Waverly College. He played with the Waverly 1st XV in 2016, as well as the Paddington Colts Under-17s that year.
He’s played with the Sydney Roosters since 2017, and the Randwick Galloping Greens in the NSW Shute Shield since 2018.
He also played for NSW Rugby Union Sevens Squad in the Santos Festival of Rugby in 2021. He also was in the final selection trials for Australia’s rugby sevens side for the Tokyo Olympics, as well as playing in the Oceania Sevens.
Brooklyn was part of the training block for the Super Rugby NSW Waratahs for 2021.
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A deceptive sidestep, fast feet, and a neat off-loading game are all part of a package that make him a multi-faceted threat in attack.
“Everything is wow about being involved with the Giltinis as my first professional contract and in a city like Los Angeles,” Hardaker said.
“I watched a fair few Giltinis’ games on TV in their first season. I like the style of rugby they play and it looks like a fun team environment for hard work.
“Already knowing Nathan Den Hoedt and Christian Poidevin from my club in Australia, as well as Lindsey Stevens and Tas Smith, will help me settle in at the Giltinis.”
Hardaker’s Olympic selection dream was ruined when a large Fijian body landed across his left knee during that Oceania Sevens tournament in Townsville a month before Tokyo.
To repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, he elected to bypass surgery and back a formalized bracing protocol with rest and rehabilitation. It has enabled him to return to the training field earlier and he is back running, stepping, and preparing for the Giltinis’ season lift-off in February.
“I chose a natural way of repairing the knee. The knee was locked in a brace fixed at 90 degrees for several weeks. I drank bone broth here and there too. “I’ve followed the rehab and I’m running, jogging, sidestepping, doing everything now.
“It was heartwrenching not having that chance to keep pressing for the Olympics but now it’s about embracing it all with the Giltinis.”
Giltinis head coach Stephen Hoiles is excited by Hardaker’s skillset adding to the potency of the team’s attack.
“Good finishers know where the tryline is. They can also create opportunities for others which is what you look for in a winger,” Hoiles said.
“Brooklyn certainly has those traits and he’s come through a system where backing yourself in attack is very much encouraged at my old club at Randwick.
“He’s got zippiness, he’s a bit unorthodox and he competes hard for everything, high balls, on kick chase, and so on.”