Ross Deacon Back with RUNY




NEW YORK (October 10, 2018)- Rugby United New York is excited to announce that flanker Ross Deacon has been signed for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old started all three matches for RUNY during the 2018 exhibition season, and was then sent on loan to MLR’s Austin Elite.

Deacon was born in San Francisco, but moved to Ireland at a young age. Growing up, he always wanted to be an engineer. However, his rugby talent was undeniable. He starred for Kilkenny College, before going on to feature with All Ireland League team Lansdowne Football Club. Deacon won AIL medals at both the U20 and Senior level with the club. Mike Ruddock, who coached Wales to a Grand Slam in the 2005 6 Nations Tournament, was his head coach while at the club. He has also represented the Leinster U20 team, as well as the Leinster sub academy.

“We are delighted to hear that Ross has signed a professional contract for RUNY,” Ruddock told us. “Ross loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up, and making the hard yards. Everyone at Lansdowne Club is proud to say that he learned his trade in the AIL before heading over to the United States. We are confident he will do a fantastic job for his new club.”

Deacon’s impressive rugby resume caught the eye of US National team selectors, and in 2013, he appeared for the USA U20 team in the Junior World Rugby Championship. Deacon faced England, South Africa, and France in the tournament.

Deacon has been playing with New York Athletic Club since 2016. His strong performances in the Atlantic Rugby Premiership earned him a spot on the 2018 RUNY roster for the exhibition season. He started all three matches, and parlayed it into a Major League Rugby contract with Austin Elite for the 2018 season.

“Playing in the MLR in 2018 was a great experience,” Deacon said. “It was good to be in a professional environment and train full-time. I’m excited to play the upcoming season in New York, where I have lived and worked for nearly two years now.”

“Ross is a doer, he rolls his sleeves up and gets the job done,” General Manager James English told us. “He is a big man, with even bigger aspirations. I think Ross is in for a big year with Major League Rugby.”

“He brings a real impact to the game on both sides of the ball,” added Head Coach Mike Tolkin. “His fiercely competitive demeanor suits us well. His consistency, and impressive skill set, will be valuable to RUNY over the course of the long MLR season. We’re glad that he’s staying home in NYC.”

“Everyone has high expectations for RUNY in our first MLR season,” Deacon closed by saying. “We will have a lot of talent in the squad, and we will be pushing each other to bring out the best performances possible.”

Welcome back, Ross.

About Rugby United New York

Rugby United New York is a professional rugby team who joined Major League Rugby as an associate member in 2018, playing a brief, but successful exhibition season. Their first full MLR schedule will take place in 2019. When they officially join the league, RUNY's vision is to bring the excitement of professional rugby to the New York sports landscape. The use of rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, and discipline will help to educate, inspire and connect with the New York Community. Rugby United New York, the city’s first professional rugby franchise, strives to unite the entire rugby community and enrich it at every level throughout the region. The team was founded by James Kennedy of the Murphy Kennedy Group, who is an active supporter of grassroots rugby.

About MLR

MLR is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. For more information, visit


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