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 drafted Dartmouth College hooker, Mason Koch, as the 16th pick in the Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft. The 22-year-old (23 in August) is 5’9″ and 220 lbs. Mason is from Coralville, Iowas, and attended Iowa City West High School. He was a multi-sport athlete playing football, wrestling, and playing baseball. When he entered high school, he discovered rugby and was a founder of the high school club, playing for the team for three years. He was also an outstanding student and was admitted to Dartmouth College where he continued to play rugby and helped the team earn four…

Austin Gilgronis selected Lui Sitama as the 4th player in the Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft. The 24-year-old center is 5’9″ and 210 lbs. Lui was born in Samoa but regards Lacey, Washington as his hometown. He attended River Ridge High Schoolgraduating in 2015 and was on the track and field team, in the shot put discus, and Javelin. He played rugby for the Budd Bay Barbarians and his performance gained him an invitation to the USA Rugby U20 Camp in 2015 and 2016. Lui attended American International College from 2015-2020 graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Digital of…

The Seattle Seawolves selected Aaron Matthews with the 5th pick in the Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft. The 23-year-old center/wing is 5’10” and 190 lbs. Aaron is from Phoenix, Arizona, and lives in Irvine, California. He attended Jserra Catholic High School where he played football and played rugby with Back Bay Rugby Club. He was a High School All-American in 2014 and was selected for Team USA for the Youth Olympics in Sevens in Nanjing, China. He also toured Argentina for the Rugby 4 Nations BHSAA tour in 2014. He was one of the original Eagle Impact Rugby Academy players…

The Seattle Seawolves signed Mat Turner for the 2021 Major League Rugby season in a dual role as  Assistant Coach and player. The South African fullback is from Cape Town, is 32 years old (33 in Jan.), 5’9″, and 190 lbs. Mat initially signed with the team in 2017 and had a dual player role and served as the Director Of Operations for the Seawolves. In 2019 He appeared in 15 of the team’s 18 matches, including winning the MLR Championship for the second time. He averaged 12.5 carrying meters per in 2019, running 1,358 meters & scoring 8 tries.…

The New England Free Jacks signed Jack Miller to the squad for the 2021 season of Major League Rugby. The 22-year-old back row is 6’1″ and 205 lbs. Jack is from Hong Kong and began playing rugby when he was 10 years old with the Valley Fort Rugby Football Club. Jack continued with the Essex Bulldogs, which are part of Massachusetts Youth Rugby and also represented Brookline High School and his performance led to his inclusion in the Boys High School All-American Camp in 2013. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder from 2016-2020 and will graduate with a Bachelor’s…

Following the completion of the Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft, Tom Brusati was signed for the 2021 season. The 23-year-old scrumhalf is 5’9″ and 175 lbs. Tom is from San Rafael, California, and played rugby and football while at Terra Linda High School. He also played for the Marin Highlanders in 2012-2013 and for the North Bay Rugby Club Wildcats from 2013-2015, as well as returning later as a coach for the Summer 7s program. Tom attended Saint Mary’s College of California and graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration on Entrepreneurship. While with the Gaels,…

The New England Free Jacks drafted Justin Johnson with the 6th pick in the Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft. The 21-year-old flanker is 6’2″ and 215 lbs. Justin is from Inglewood, California, and attended Mira Costa High School where he played rugby beginning in his Sophomore year. He was a multisport athlete and also competed in basketball, football, and in various track and field events. A rugby highlight prior to graduation was beating Ysgol Bro Gwain High School from Fishguard, Wales at home. He was the captain of the rugby team in 2016 and a High School All-American. He also…

The New England Free jacks selected Ohio State University Prop Spencer Krueger as the 18th pick in the second round of the Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft. The 22-year-old is 6’1″ and 260 lbs. Spencer is from Arlington Heights, Illinois, and attended John Hersey High School where he was an “offensive and defensive lineman when he played for coach Joe Pardun and he was also a varsity wrestler, honors student and volunteer.” He also competed on the track and field team with the shot put and discus and was honored with the Burlsworth character award in recognition of outstanding character…

The Dallas Jackals will be one of two new Major League Rugby teams in the league in 2021 along with the Los Angeles Giltinis. Dallas was slated to have been one of the original teams in the MLR in 2018, however, finding a suitable venue to showcase the team delayed their inclusion until now. I interviewed Phil Camm, an owner and General Manager of the Dallas Jackals for this article. Phil and his business partner Bill Bingham were originally part of the group at the start of MLR, but are now partnered with Donnie Nelson who brings his entertainment expertise which includes sports ownership of…

NOLA Gold Rugby Club re-signed Malcolm May for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old (25 in March) back row is 6’1″ and 232lbs. Malcolm played in two matches for NOLA Gold in 2019 as an injury curtailed his season. He played 41 minutes, had 2 carries for 10 meters, made 8 tackles and had 1 lineout take. During 2020, he started the first match against Old Glory DC and then was a reserve for the last four matches. May is from Chicago, Illinois, and went to St. Ignatius College Preparatory School. In high school, he played football as…

NOLA Gold Rugby Club signed Kevin Sullivan through the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old prop is 6’2″ and 285 lbs. The former Collegiate All-American prop from the University of California, Berkeley played 12 of the matches during the 2019 MLR season. During the truncated 2020 season he played mainly as a reserve. Kevin graduated from St. Ignatius Preparatory School in San Francisco in 2013 where he played both offensive and defensive lines. He also achieved High School All-American honors for rugby. Upon graduation, he went to Cal from 2013 to 2018 where he majored in Political Science. While…

The Dallas Jackals signed Dakota O’Neil for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old (28 in Jan.) lock/back row is 6’4″ and 240 lbs. Kody previously played with the Colorado Raptors since 2018 and played in 25 matches. With the withdrawal of the Raptors from the MLR in May, he was one of several players selected by the Jackals in the dispersal draft. In 2019 he played 360 minutes in 12 matches, had 52 carries for 327 meters, and made 64 tackles. He also had 2 linebreaks, 3 tackle break, and 1 offload. Kody was born in Portland, Oregon,…

Rugby ATL signed Duncan Van Schalkwyk to a contract extension through the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old flyhalf is 5’9″ and 175 lbs. Duncan started all five matches for the team in 2020, playing in 360 out of 400 minutes, and added 11 points. Duncan is from Pretoria, South Africa, and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina with his family in 2005. He attended Providence High and played rugby with the Charlotte Tigers, and was honored by North Carolina Youth Rugby Union on their Wall of Stars in 2015. Duncan went to Life University from 2014-2019 and was a…

The Toronto Arrows signed Juan Cruz Gonzalez for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old flyhalf/fullback will likely take the place of Sam Malcolm, who departed the club for Japan, at fullback. Gonzalez is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was a former teammate of current Arrows flanker Tomas de la Vega. Gonzalez spent several years at Club Universitario de Buenos Aires (CUBA) and has long been a standout for Argentina XV in the Americas Rugby Championship and Americas Pacific Challenge, scoring five tries and kicking for 108 points over 17 appearances for Argentina’s development side. The speedy Argentine has…

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