Rugby United New York re-signed Connor Buckley for the 2023 Major League Rugby season, his third with the team. The 23-year-old scrumhalf (24 in March) is 5’7″ and 170 lbs.
Connor played 391 minutes in 12 matches, starting 4, and scoring 2 tries for Rugby New York in 2022. he also played for the New York Foundry, the team’s Academy side. Following the season, he played for New York Athletic Club in the American Rugby Premiership.
While with the team in 2021 and 2022, Connor was mentored by Andy Ellis and Mike Petri. In 2021 he was on the matchday roster 5 times and played 3 in three matches for 22 minutes. He also played for the team’s U23 Academy Team, as well as for New York Athletic Club, during the Fall American Rugby Premiership 2021 season.
Connor is from Rockaway Beach, New York, and graduated from Xavier High School in 2017. At Xavier, Connor played JV football from 2012-14 and Varsity football from 2014-2016. He also played rugby helping the team to four state titles and national team appearances and was a team captain. He was also a Boys High School All-American and in 2017 the team swept Canada.
Following his graduation, he went to Iona College beginning in the Fall 2017 term and graduated in December 2020, so he could play professionally in the MLR. He was a USA Collegiate All-American Honorable Mention and played for the USA U20s in the World Rugby Trophy competition qualifiers. The Iona College Rugby co-captain was also a D1A Rugby Liberty All-Conference first-team selection and 2020 Scholz Award Finalist. Connor has been mentored by three-time Rugby World Cup scrum half Mike Petri.
Rugby United New York considered Connor to be their “number one target in the college draft because he’s a New Yorker (just like Us!) “However, after trading their two draft picks for a foreign slot, the team waited. and once the second draft was completed, Rugby United was on the phone…..And he said YES!!!!