Rugby New York re-signed Benjamin Bonasso for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old back-row (26 in June), who can also play lock, is 6’4″ and 225 lbs.
Ben played 1255 minutes in 16 starts and scored one try for Rugby New York in 2022. He captained the side toward the end of the season and played flanker and lock.
Following the season, he played for the USA Falcons in the Toyota Challenge in South Africa against the Toyota Cheetahs and Pumas. He trained with the USA National team in South Africa and was selected for the team’s World Rugby Final Rugby World Cup Qualification Tournament where the winner between USA, Portugal, Hong Kong and Kenya will advance to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Ben played 970 minutes in 17 matches, starting 12, and scored 3 tries for New York in 2021. His stellar performance had him joining the USA National Team where he made his debut on October 9, 2021, against Uruguay when he entered in the 50th minute. His other test was as a starter against the New Zealand All Blacks on October 23, 2021.
Benja was born in Connecticut, while his father and mother resided in the United States for 8 years. His father obtained an MBA from Columbia University and then worked for Chase Manhattan, now JP Morgan. Benjamin is one of 8 children and has 3 brothers and 4 sisters. His oldest brother and sister were born in the U.S., while his young siblings, were in Argentina.
Benjamin was introduced to rugby when he was 3 years old. His father was a rugby coach and coached his older brother, who is now 27 years old. He attended practice and matches before he began playing rugby when he was 10.
Benjamin attended Cardenal Newman School from 2003-2014 and captained Newman’s U16s, U17s, and U19s. He also played soccer, and track and field, running the 400 meters, the high jump, and throwing the javelin.
In 2015 he was selected for the Buenos Aires Provincial team, which played against The league champions, Torneo Argentino. In 2016 he played age-grade rugby for the Argentina Los Pumitas U19s in the South American Cup, playing in 3 matches and scoring 2 tries. in 2017 he was selected for the Los Pumitas Tour to New Zealand, but sustained a knee injury and could not participate with the team at the World U20s Championship.
He played for Club Newman 1st XV during the 2017-18 Nacional de Clubes season, playing in 6 matches, starting 4 times, and scoring 2 tries. He also featured for Newman’s URBA Top 14 team, playing in 14 matches, 12 as a starter, and scoring 4 tries. During the 18/19 season with Newman’s URBA Top 14 side, he played in 15 matches, 12 as a starter, and scored 1 try.