The Dallas Jackals signed their number 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLR Collegiate Draft, Sam Golla, to a contract extension through the 2026 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old lock/flanker is 6’4″ and 245 lbs.
The Dallas Jackals indicated that “Golla is drawing praise across Major League Rugby. The league named Golla to the Starting XV on March 21 and March 28 on Left Lock. Golla is a defensive monster, ranking second in the league for tackles at 160 behind teammate Adriaan Booysen (197).”
“Golla’s stat line is impressive. The former University of Cal Golden Bear has started in every match, recorded two tries, ran 382 metres, beaten six defenders and registered a 85.56% tackle success rate. Golla was also named to the USA Men’s Eagles Player Pool for the 2023 August Tour earlier this month.”
Sam was born in Arlington, Texas, and raised in Denver, Colorado. He attended East High School and was introduced to rugby during his freshman year. In his senior year, he was the rugby team’s captain and 20n the 2017 State Championship.
The next five years were spent at the University of California, Berkeley from 2017 through his graduation in 2022. The Cal Varsity Rugby Program has been one of the best teams in the country for many years. His senior year was no exception as the team’s record was 27-1.
Sam was the team’s captain in 2021 and 2022 and was selected as a Rudy Scholz Award Top 3 Finalist, an award given to the country’s best men’s rugby player. He was named to All Pac-12 1st Team for four consecutive years, selected Pac-12 Co-Player of the Year in 2020, and named a U20 All-American. The team also won the Pac-12 Sevens Championship three times and was a 2022 D1A Collegiate All-American.