Browsing: Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby is a professional USA league that began in 2018 and has teams in the U.S. and in Canada. Current MLR teams include Austin Elite Rugby, Glendale Raptors, Houston SaberCats, New Orleans Gold, Rugby United New York, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Toronto Arrows, and the Utah Warriors. In 2020, teams in Atlanta, New England, and Washington, D.C. will join the league and have exhibition matches in 2019.

San Diego Legion signed New Zealand All Black No. 1088, Isaac Ross, for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 37-year-old lock (38 in October) is 6’7″ and 260 lbs. After playing with the Austin Gilgronis the last two seasons in 24 matches and scoring 3 tries, he recently signed with a Japanese 5th tier club AZ-Momotaro. Now he will return early in time for the 2023 MLR season. Isaac was in the 2022 two-week camp at the Chula Vista Elite Training Center in Chula Vista, California, which culminated in a scrimmage with San Diego Legion. Teams used different lineups…

NOLA Gold signed Rodney Esekia Iona through the 2024 Major League Rugby season. The 31-year-old flyhalf is 5’10” and 196 lbs. Rodney is from Melbourne, Australia, and attended Chandler High School in Keysborough. He played Tuggeranong Vikings from 2011-2016, as well as attended the Brumbies Academy where he won the World Club Sevens Championship in 2013, and also played in the World Club Tens that year in Singapore. He also played rugby with the Moorabbin Rams RFC. From 2014 through 2016 he made 15 appearances with the Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby Championship and also made his first appearance…

Old Glory DC signed Joaquín (“Tito”) Díaz Bonilla for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 33-year-old flyhalf (34 in April) is 5’8″ and 175 lbs. Tito is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and attended Bede’s Grammar School. He played rugby with Hindú Club in the UBBA Top 14 from 2010-2017 before joining the Super Rugby Jaguares where he played from 2017 through 2020, making 28 appearances. He started in the team’s Super Rugby Final in their 2019 loss to the New Zealand Crusaders. In 2019 he was also loaned for the Fall season with the French Top 14 team, Racing…

San Diego Legion obtained Sean McNulty in a trade with the Seattle Seawolves for Ben Mitchell. Sean joins the Seawolves during the 2022 season after a trade with the LA Giltinis for salary-cap considerations. The 27-year-old Hooker, who can play back-row, is 6’2″ and 240lbs. Sean played in 8 matches with the Seattle Seawolves and 4 with the LA Giltinis in 2022. He also played on April 10th with the LA Academy side against the American Raptors. Sean played 488 minutes in 14 matches, starting 5, and scored one try for the Giltinis in 2021. He played his older brother…

The Seattle Seawolves signed Ben Mitchell to a multiyear contract after a trade with San Diego Legion for hooker Sean McNulty. His contract will take him through the 2024 or 2025 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old lock (28 in April) is 6’7″, and 245 lbs. Ben played in 17 matches with San Diego Legion, the only player with the team to do so. He also was the 14th player in MLR to earn 50 caps. Ben played 654 minutes in 10 matches, starting 9, for the Legion in 2021. He then played with the USA Select XV in the…

The Seattle Seawolves signed Peter Malcolm through the 2025 Major League Rugby season after trading for him with the San Diego Legion in exchange for salary cap considerations in 2023. The 28-year-old hooker (29 in March) is 6’1″ and 240 lbs. In 2022 he played in 13 matches with the Legion, and his combined total with both the Legion and Austin Elite is 33 matches with 10 tries. Pete played 575 minutes in 15 matches, starting 5, and scored 4 tries in 2021 with the Legion. Peter was signed by Austin Elite Rugby for the inaugural 2018 MLR season. He…

The New England Free Jacks re-signed Paula Balekana for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old wing (30 in May) is 5’11” and 225 lbs. After being traded by the Houston SaberCats to the Free Jacks, he started 12 games and scored 6 tries in 2022. He has now played in 22 MLR matches and scored 12 tries. Paula played 1277 minutes in 16 starts and was the team-leading try-scorer, with 6 tries. He carried 147 times for 1,421 meters, ranking second in the MLR, and was a serious threat with the ball, ranking 1st in the league in…

The New England Free Jacks re-signed Josh Larsen through the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 28-year-old lock (29 in April) is 6’5″ and 250 lbs. Josh has played 34 of 38 matches since joining the Free Jacks and he was the team’s captain for 31 of them. He will play in the Rugby Tens Championship this Fall. Josh, the Free jacks captain, played 937 minutes in 12 starts and scored one try. He completed 139 tackles, ranking 21st in tackles made across the league. Seven of the tackles were dominant, ranking him 13th in the league often seen driving…

San Diego Legion traded for Mikey Te’o with the Utah Warriors with the Warriors receiving Jonah Dietenberger from the Legion. The trade has him returning to the San Diego Legion where he played from 2018 through 2020. The 28-year-old fullback/wing is 5’9″ and 210 lbs. He played in all 16 matches in 2022 for the Utah Warriors and in 2021 played 1224 minutes in 16 matches, starting 15, scoring 47 points from 9 tries and one conversion. He was named the MLR Player of the Year for 2021. Mikey captained the Rhino at the 2020 World Tens Series in Bermuda…

NOLA Gold’s Pat O’Toole received a contract extension through the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old hooker (28 in February) is 6’0″ and 240 lbs. Pat played in 11 matches, starting 7, and scored 5 tries in 2022. In 2021, he played 828 minutes in 16 matches, starting 13, and scored 7 tries for NOLA Gold. Following the 2019 MLR season with the Houston SaberCats, Pat signed a short-term contract with the Glasgow Warriors and then played with Garryowen in the All-Ireland league in 2020. He also played with the Ohio Aviators at the World Tens Series in November.…

The New England Free Jacks acquired Canadian international Conor Keys from Rugby ATL in exchange for salary cap considerations in 2023 and 2024, as well as a third-round pick in the 2024 Collegiate Draft. The 26-year-old lock is 6’6″ and 265lbs. Conor played 15 matches in 2022, bringing his total with Rugby ATL to 33 matches since 2021. He played 520 minutes in 13 matches, starting 7, in 2021 for the Ratlers, and played 211 minutes in all 5 matches for Rugby ATL in their inaugural season, starting twice, had a 90% tackle completion rate, and was a force in…

The New England Free Jacks re-signed Mitch Wilson through the 2024 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old wing/fullback (27 in April) is 5’9″ and 175lbs. Mitch played in 15 matches with the Free Jacks in 2022, with the USA Selects, and for the USA Men’s National XVs Team in an uncapped match in July against the French Barbarians. Mitch played 644 minutes in 9 starts and scored 20 points (3 tries, 1 conversion, 1 penalty goal). He also played with the USA Selects in the Americas Pacific Challenge in Uruguay, as well as with Mystic River during the American Rugby…

NOLA Gold re-signed Aaron Matthews through the 2024 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old center/wing is 5’10” and 190 lbs. Aaron played in 8 matches in 2022 with NOLA Gold after being traded by the Seattle Seawolves. He was the Seawolves’ 5th pick in the Major League Rugby Collegiate 2020 Draft and has played in 19 MLR matches. He also played in the Premier Rugby Sevens in 2022. In 2021 he played 463 minutes in 11 matches, starting 5, and scored 1 try. Aaron is from Phoenix, Arizona, and lives in Irvine, California. He attended Jserra Catholic High School where…

Austin Gilgronis obtained Christian Alvarez in a trade with NOLA Gold, with the latter receiving salary cap considerations for 2023. The 24-year-old scrumhalf (24 in January) is 6’2″ and 205 lbs. News about this trade was from the Major League Rugby webpage under Trade Wire. There has been no news reported from the Austin Gilgronis since the end of the 2022 season. Christian made two appearances for NOLA Gold and played additional matches with New Orleans RFC in 2022. NOLA Gold General Manager Ryan Fitzgerald confirmed that Christian Alvarez, the team’s 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft Round 2, Pick 22, has…

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