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.

Austin Gilgronis signed Jake Turnbull for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old prop (28 in July) is 6’2″ and 255 lbs. Jake played all five matches for Old Glory DC in 2020, starting three times. Following the season, he returned to Australia and played for Randwick in the Shute Shield. Jake played for the Houston SaberCats for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and was the SaberCats Academy Youth Development Coach, for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. In 2019 Jake played 286 minutes in 12 matches, carried the ball 23 times for 96 meters and made 61 tackles.…

The Seattle Seawolves re-signed Joey Iosefa for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old center (30 in June) is 6’0″ and 250 lbs. Joey re-signed with the Seawolves in 2020 and was a reserve in the team’s last four matches of the COVID-19  truncated season. The center was a mid-season Seawolves addition in 2019 and added significant coverage to the backline. He played 78 minutes in two games, made 11 carries for 98 meters, had one line-break, two tackle-breaks, and one offload on offense along with 8 tackles. He also played in 2019 with the Seattle Saracens. In 2018,…

LA Giltinis signed Pago Haini (Pagopagohokma Taeaomua Haini) for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old No.8/blindside flanker is 6’1″ and 249 lbs. He played for the New England Free Jacks during the team’s 2019 exhibition and was a key Cara Cup contributor. He re-signed for 2020, but did not play during the COVID-19 shortened season. In 2018 he played 46 minutes in four matches as a reserve. Pago was born in American Samoa and grew up in Samoa (Western Samoan). He then attended St Joseph College, a well-known rugby school in Samoa before receiving a Rugby/Academic scholarship to…

Rugby ATL signed Connor Cook for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old back-row (30 in April) is 6’3″and 220 lbs. During the truncated 2020 MLR season, Connor played 157 minutes in all five matches for the Colorado Raptors, starting twice. During the 2019 MLR season, he played 582 minutes for the Glendale Raptors in 13 matches, starting 5 times, had 47 carries for 344 meters, made 104 tackles and had 21 lineout takes. He also had 4 linebreaks, 2 tackle breaks and made 6 offloads. In 2018 he played 390 minutes in 7 matches, starting 5 times, and…

Dallas Jackals Release The Dallas Jackals today announced the club will not compete in the 2021 Major League Rugby (MLR) season. The decision, which was made in coordination with Major League Rugby, is based on a number of factors that will provide the Dallas Jackals, an expansion team, the best opportunity to succeed in its inaugural season and into the future. A dispersal draft will be held in the near future for potential redistribution of Jackals players throughout the league for the 2021 season. “This has been a challenging process, but we firmly believe this is the best decision for…

Seattle Seawolves re-signed Riekert Hattingh for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old (27 in March) No.8 is 6’5″ and 245 lbs. After being selected as captain for the 2018 MLR season, he received a concussion during week one of the season and spent much of his time working with the forwards as an unofficial coach. He returned to play toward the end of the 2018 season, playing 236 minutes, with 4 starts and one try. In 2019 Riekert played 1358 minutes in 17 starts, scored 8 tries, had 197 carries for 1324 meters, made 219 tackles, 13 tackle…

Rugby United New York signed Benjamin Bonasso for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 23-year-old back-row, who can also play lock (24 in June) is 6’4″ and 225 lbs. Benja was born in Connecticut, while his father and mother resided in the United States for 8 years.  His father obtained an MBA from Columbia University and then worked for Chase Manhattan, now JP Morgan. Benjamin is one of 8 children and has 3 brothers and 4 sisters. His oldest brother and sister were born in the U.S., while his young siblings, in Argentina. Benjamin was introduced to rugby while…

The Utah Warriors signed Namibian international Cliven Loubser for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 23-year-old flyhalf/fullback (24 in February) is 5’9″ and 188 lbs. Cliven was born in Rehoboth, Namibia, and attended Dr. Lemmer High School, as well as Windhoek Gymnasium Private School. He also went to the University of Pretoria and played for the UP Tuks. Cliven played for the Eastern Province U19s in 2016 and in 2017 for the Sharks U21s. He also played in two World Rugby U20s Trophy tournaments. In 2017 he made his senior test debut for Namibia against Russia at Montevideo, Uruguay…

NOLA Gold signed former Houston SaberCats and Connacht Rugby hooker Pat O’Toole through the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 25-years-old is 6’0″ and 240 lbs. 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. In 2019 Pat played 1153 minutes in his 16 starts with the SaberCats. He scored 3 tries, carried 71 times for 507 meters, had 3 linebreaks, 2 tackle breaks, 5…

Utah Warriors Release Chris Latham announced to his players and staff that he is stepping down as head coach of the Utah Warriors Rugby team. Latham has been with the Warriors since 2019 and has been integral in building a new team culture, a strong roster of players, and one of Major League Rugby’s strongest coaching staff. Latham is departing for personal reasons. “Leaving the Warriors has not been an easy decision. I have the utmost respect for the organization, and I am proud of the progress the team has made in a short period of time,” Latham said. “The…

San Diego Legion signed Canadian age-grade back-row Michael Smith for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 22-year-old open side flanker (23 in March) is 6’3” and 215 lbs. Michael is from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. He attended Earl Marriott Secondary before enrolling at the University of British Columbia where he graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology. Michael played age-grade rugby for British Columbia, as well as for Rugby Canada. In 2018 he was the vice-captain for the U20s at the World Rugby U20s Trophy competition in Romania. Michael is an athlete-scholar, who plans to…

The Houston SaberCats signed Paula Balekana for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old wing (28 in May) is 6’0” and 198 lbs. Paula was born in Suva, Fiji, and grew up in Wainibuku. He attended Nasinu Secondary School in Suva before being offered a scholarship when he was 19 to attend Kelston Boys High School and play rugby. He played for Waitemata Rugby Football and Sports Club U21s in 2012 along with the Auckland Sevens. Paula returned to Fiji in 2013 and after a potential contract did not materialize in New Zealand, he played with Northland in a…

The Seattle Seawolves re-signed Taylor Krumrei for the 2021 Major League Rugby season, his fourth with the club. The 28-year-old lock (29 in July) is 6’6″, 245 lbs., and is a two-time MLR champion. During the 2020 season, Taylor played 24 minutes in two matches as a reserve. In 2019, he played 506 minutes in 12 matches, starting 6, carried 17 times for 78 meters, and made 86 tackles. In 2018, he played 755 minutes in 10 matches as a starter and scored one try. Taylor Krumrei began playing rugby in his senior year in high school for Lamorinda Rugby…

Rugby United New York signed former New Zealand All Black scrumhalf, Andy Ellis, for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 36-year-old (37 in February) is 5’9″ and 196 lbs. Andy was contemplating retirement after the premature ending of the 2020 Japanese Top league season with his family leaving Japan ahead of him back to New Zealand. Instead of retiring, he felt he had more left in the tank with an adventure waiting in New York to play with RUNY during the 2021 MLR season. Andy is from Christchurch, New Zealand. He attended Burnside High School from 1997-2001, and then…

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