The Dallas Jackals received the playing services rights to James Vaifale and NOLA’s 3rd Round Pick in the 2023 MLR Collegiate Draft. James had been drafted by the Chicago Hounds in the 2022 MLR dispersal draft but was not signed, so his signing rights reverted back to NOLA Gold. In September, NOLA Gold Rugby Club obtained James Vaifale from the Utah Warriors in exchange for the 18th overall pick in the 2022 MLR Collegiate draft.
James, who is a week wing/fullback, will be 28 years old next week and is 6’0″ and 210 lbs. James moved to New Orleans and has been playing for the NOLA Gold Academy in the Fall 2022 American Rugby Premiership.
During the 2022 MLR season with Utah, he made 5 appearances. In 2021 he played 402 minutes in 11 matches, starting 5, and scored two tries.
James played in pre-season matches in 2020 with the Utah Warriors but did not play during the truncated regular season. He played with the Warriors Selects during the Fall 2020 season.
James is from Chandler, Arizona, and attended Corona del Sol High School. He played football at Mesa Junior College and then at Western New Mexico University on a football scholarship where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology.
He played rugby with the Tempe Old Devils, played with the Boys High school All-Americans at the Rosslyn National School Sevens, and for the USA U20s in the 2014 Hong Kong World Rugby Under 20 Trophy. While with Tempe, the team won the Men’s D2 National Championship in 2016. He also played for American Samoa’s national team, Talavalu, in the 2019 Oceania 7s and the North American Lions in the Rugbytown 7s.