RUNY SIGNS INTERNATIONAL PROP JAMES ROCHFORD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RUNY SIGNS INTERNATIONAL PROP JAMES ROCHFORD
NEW YORK (January 3, 2019)- Rugby United New York continued their impressive offseason player acquisition period with the signing of international prop James Rochford. The 25-year-old, from Ireland, has played professionally in both his native land and Italy before he made the decision to move to New York City and pursue a contract in Major League Rugby.
Rochford started playing rugby as a 5-year-old for Crosshaven RFC in Cork, and stayed with them until he was 18. During that time, the prop led them to two championships in the Under 16 Munster league, as well as two championships in the Under 18 Munster league, serving as their captain. He was then selected for the Men’s Junior side, and helped them win the Junior All Ireland Competition.
After strong performances with the Men’s Junior side, Rochford suited up for Cork Constitution FC. He also enjoyed success with his new club, winning the Under 21 Munster League Championship twice, as well as the AIL Bateman cup twice. He then made the move to Dolphin RFC, and was awarded the captaincy, in addition to winning the club’s Player of the Year award.
Rochford transitioned into the professional game and moved to Rome to play for SS LAZIO, competing in the Eccellenza League. He was a mainstay for the franchise, playing week in and week out for his 2 seasons there. He appeared in two European Challenge Cup Qualifying matches for the Italian based club before returning to Ireland. He landed a 6-month contract with Munster before making the decision to sign for New York’s first professional rugby franchise.
“Despite still being a young man, James has really honed his craft as a prop,” Head Coach Mike Tolkin told us. “He has worked in excellent set-ups with very good coaches. He clearly takes pride in his scrummaging and we’re eager to get his front-row talents and overall ability to New York.”
“I would expect nothing less, as new guys on the block, that we have a big bullseye on our backs. But, I expect us to come out guns blazing for our first year in Major League Rugby,” added Rochford. “I want to be competing for the title come playoff time. Teams are going to have to play their best rugby if they want to beat us. I’m really looking forward to adding my bit to the history books of New York rugby.”
Rugby United New York will begin the 2019 Major League Rugby season in San Diego, when they face off against the Legion on January 27th at 5 PM EST. The game will be available LIVE on both SNY and ESPN+.
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.
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 usmlr.com.
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- Anthony Parry
- Callum Mackintosh
- Capital Selects
- Cathal Marsh
- Chris Mattina
- Fly Half
- Harry Bennett
- James Rochford
- John Quill
- Myles McQuone
- Paddy Ryan
- Seimou Smith
- USA Rugby
- Will Leonard