MLR Round Up – 07/10/2020 – Cecil Afrika Joins The Legion
Another Fijian Warrior Heads To the Dallas Jackals
Following on from the signing of Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, the Dallas Jackals have announced the singing of fellow Fijian Warrior Jonetani Vasurakuta. The Jackals are building a quality squad for their inaugural season of Major League Rugby in 2021. They started by mainly boosting their forward pack and loading it with serious power and graft. They are now looking to assemble a Backline that can score plenty of tries. The additions of Fly Half Samusamuvodre and Centre Vasurakuta will definitely help with that. These two are seriously exciting players, with a promising future in rugby. Most recently, Vasurakuta has been playing for Nadroga FC in Fiji and will join up with his new teammates in time for next season.
The Legion Land Cecil Afrika & Joe Pieterson Re-Signs
A fantastic week for San Diego Legion fans, as they have landed South African Sevens superstar Cecil Afrika for 2021. Further good news is that current South African star Joe Pieterson will be returning for another season in San Diego. Cecil Afrika is one of the most recognisable names in Sevens Rugby. He has been one of the most consistent performers throughout his long career. The 32 year old helped the Blitzboks win the 2017 and 2018 World Sevens Series titles. He has the seventh most points in World Sevens history (1462) and has scored the 9th most tries (179). Afrika won a Bronze Medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics and a Gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. His signing will not only help the Legion, in terms of playing, but will continue to help boost the profile of Major League Rugby around the world. The Legion are looking incredibly strong for the 2021 season. They were one of the form teams in the shortened 2020 season and went unbeaten for the five games. It looks likely that they will be well in the hunt for the 2021 Shield.
Pieterson joined the Legion back in 2018 and has been one of the most consistent Major League Rugby players since. The former Stellenbosch University player may be getting towards the end of his career, but is in fantastic shape and has proven his quality time and time again. His core rugby skill and ability to read the game set him apart from others. Re-signing a core of their current crop will be key to renewing the teams culture and building on their momentum. This is a fantastic bit of news for Legion fans.
Three Quality Deals For Rugby United New York
Rugby United New York have confirmed that two of last season’s signings will be returning for 2021. The Back Row duo of Evan Mintern and Kara Pryor, were initially due to join for the 2020 season, but did not feature due to Visa delays and problems. They are a high class duo of signings, who will add some significant physical power and ballast to an already strong Back Row.
Evan Mintern is a former Ireland Under 20 international, who was a part of the 2016 Junior World Championships.Primarily, Mintern operates as a ball carrying Number 8 and won the All Ireland League Title, with Cork Constitution, whilst playing in that role. The 24 year old also spent two seasons playing with Munster A, in the British & Irish Cup. He is an absolutely huge physical presence and at 6’5”, he can also play second row.
Kara Pryor is a quality operator. If you have watched any Mitre 10 Cup rugby, you will know how good a player he is. Another abrasive back row and an all action kind of player. Pryor racked up over 50 caps for Northland in the Mitre 10 Cup and his performances for the Taniwha lead to Super Rugby call ups. Pryor has played for both the Blues (New Zealand) and the Sunwolves (Japan) in Super Rugby. The 29 year old Flanker has also been capped for the New Zealand Maori.
RUNY have also announced the signing of Canadian Centre Quinn Ngawati, for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. Ngawati joins from Rugby League side Toronto Wolfpack, after there financial troubles pushed him to return to Rugby Union. The 21 year old is a big unit with huge potential. He played plenty of Rugby Union for Pacifc Pride in Canada and the Canada Under 20s team, before heading to League. He is now back and has been snapped up by Rugby United New York. It seems to be a very shrewd signing by RUNY and this lad has a big future. In the Centres, Ngawati will join the already confirmed Will Leonard and Troy Lockyear. It is a position that he could certainly break into and nail down a starting spot. He offer something different to those other two Centres and could compliment them nicely.
Toronto Arrows Sign Argentine Superstar & Confirm Two Returning Players
The Toronto Arrows have taken their roster tally for the 2021 Major League Rugby season to 32 players. The Canadian side have confirmed the return of young Hooker Jack McRogers and versatile Back Pat Parfrey. It will be welcome news for Arrows fans, who are yet to see much of the talented duo. Parfrey has been one of Canada’s most consistent players, in recent years, but has only featured six times for the Arrows. McRogers is a Hooker with a bright future in the game and the Arrows see him as a part of a core group of upcoming Canadian players, that can have a big impact on this team.
The major bit of news with this announcement, is the signing of Argentina International and superstar player Joaquin Tuculet. The 56 cap Los Pumas International is a stupendously good acquisition. Los Jaguares players have spread out across the world, thanks to their financial troubles and lack of playing opportunities. Many have headed to Europe, but the Arrows have managed to snap up Tuculet for 2021. The 31 year old is a hugely versatile back, with the ability to play across the backline. Major League Rugby just gets better and better.
Check The Full Article Out Here: Toronto Arrows
Two Front Row Signings For The Free Jacks
The New England Free Jacks have announced that young Tighthead Prop Spencer Kreuger has signed official terms at the franchise. Kreuger was their second pick of the inaugural MLR draft and was the 18th overall pick. The former Ohio State University Prop was a standout performer at collegiate level and captined the side for the 2019/20 season. He was also named as a Collegiate All-American in 2018. The young man has a lot of experience for his age, after combining his college playing with playing Senior Rugby for the Chicago Lions. Following college, he opted to head to Christchurch in New Zealand and play for the Marist Rugby club and the Crusaders International Academy. Kreuger will now continue his development with the Free Jacks and help push the front row competition levels.
Another front row boost for the New England Free Jacks, as they add former St.Mary’s Hooker Nick Hreyekewicz. The 24 year old joins after a hugely successful time at college level, where he was named All Conference in 2020. Hryekewicz helped St.Mary’s to a Quarter Final, a Semi Final and to become Division Champions, during his time there. his versatility saw him play across the front row, but his game is most suited to Hooker. He even played Flanker during his time at the Rugby Americas North Combine, in Glendale. It is testament to his all action style of play and general all round skillset.
Saint Mary’s College Assistant Coach, Brendan O’Meara:
“Nick exemplified true grit throughout his time at Saint Mary’s College, improving each year and eventually becoming the anchor of our scrum,”
“ You won’t find a better teammate and selfless contributor to the goals of an organisation.”