San Diego Legion signed Ryan James Jr. for the 2024 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old wing/fullback is 6’2” and 195 lbs.
Ryan played 946 minutes in 12 starts and scored 3 tries for the American Raptors during the 2023 Super Rugby Americas season.
In 2022 he played 681 minutes in 10 matches, starting 6, and scored one try for the LA Giltinis. In 2021 he played 582 minutes in 15 matches, starting 6, and scored 5 tries. He also made his USA Rugby National Team debut with the Eagles XV against the New Zealand All Blacks on October 9, 2021, at FedEx Field.
Ryan joined the Giltinis for the 2021 MLR season after the team obtained the second round of the Dallas Jackals in the dispersal draft.
Ryan played in two matches as a reserve for the Colorado Raptors in 2020. Following the season, the Raptors withdrew from MLR and he was selected by the Dallas Jackals in the dispersal draft. The Jackals later announced that the team would postpone their MLR debut until the 2022 season, with the league holding a draft for the team’s players.
Ryan is from San Diego, California, and attended Cathedral Catholic High School from 2013-2017. He began playing football at age 7 and turned to rugby at age 12 with the Aztec Warriors U12s and later with the U18s.
Ryan comes from a rugby-playing family. His mother Sonya was born and raised in New Zealand and played rugby along with other family members.
Ryan’s family has supported his rugby pursuits and he has developed an extensive rugby resume in the last eight years. He is a three-time High School All-American and has represented the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy since 2013 as a freshman in high school. He has played USA age-grade rugby for the U18s, U19s, and U20s. In his senior year, he attended the Junior Men’s All-American Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. He also attended the USA Men’s 7s High-Performance Camp in 2017.
He has attended many rugby tournaments. These include Portland Oregon in 2014, Bakersfield California 2015, Denver Colorado & the Las Vegas 7s in 2016 & 2017, European tours in 2015 & 2017, Utah 7s in 2017, and against Canada in 2016 & 2017.
Ryan participated in the Glendale Raptors U23 Academy in 2017-2018 and the San Diego Academy in 2019. In 2020 he should see playing time with the Colorado Raptors, as well as with the Glendale Merlins.