Former England fullback Ben Foden has confirmed a switch to American Rugby ahead of the 2019 Major League Rugby season it has been announced today.
RugbyPass reported in May that Foden was in talks with a number of MLR clubs after he was released by Northampton Saints.
Foden started his career in 2004 with the Gallagher Premiership’s Sale Sharks, before making the move to the Northampton Saints in 2008 and has spent the last 10 seasons with the club.
Over that time, he made over 250 appearances across all competitions, while finding the try zone 59 times.
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Brand new MLR side – Rugby United New York, who are yet to play a match as a professional team – have won the race for his signature.
The 33-year-old earned 34 caps for the England national team between 2009 and 2013, starting in 29 of those matches. In England’s 2011 World Cup campaign, Foden started every match and showed his finishing ability by crossing into the try zone twice. Foden made his last appearance for the national team against the New Zealand All Blacks in November of 2013. He scored seven tries over the course of his international career.
“We’re absolutely delighted Ben has signed for us,” Rugby United New York General Manager James English said. “As one of the most influential and talented fullbacks in the Premiership over the last decade, the opportunity of signing him was too good to turn down. Ben brings a wealth of premiership and international experience to Rugby United New York. His signing is a real statement of intent by the club. We’re looking forward to the impact he can have on the field, culturally, and off the field, aiding in the development of young talent in the tristate area. We look forward to welcoming Ben to New York.”
“I’m excited to announce that I’ll be joining MLR next season with Rugby United New York,” Foden said. “It’s a new franchise in the most exciting city in the world. After my experience playing in the English Premiership for 14 seasons, the opportunity to broaden horizons, in both a playing sense, as well as taking a step into the coaching role, seems like the right move.”
“I fully believe America to be the next big rugby playing nation and can’t wait to help develop young talent through the professional ranks. My family and I have always wanted to venture over across the pond to America, and now have the opportunity, which we look forward to seizing with both hands.”
The entire Rugby United New York looks forward to welcoming Ben and his family to New York City in the coming weeks.
Rugby United New York is now accepting season ticket deposits for the 2019 season.
Once a deposit is placed, fans will be added to an email list to receive updates on RUNY season tickets, and will be able to purchase full season tickets before they become available to the general public. Season ticket deposits can be made here. Read the Season Ticket Deposit Terms and Conditions here.
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