Another former England player is set to give Major League Rugby a try next season. Last capped in 2013, 33-year-old Ben Foden blazed a trail in the 2019 MLR, playing for the New York franchise, Rugby United.
Now, Steffon Armitage, another 33-year-old who was last capped in 2010, has decided a switch to San Diego Legion is in his best interests rather than a move down the ranks in France where he has been plying his trade for the past eight seasons.
The back row, who enjoyed considerable success during his five seasons at Toulon, has just finished up his three-year stint at Pau and was on the look-out for another club.
It had been suggested he could move down a tier and take up an offer in Pro D2. However, he has instead opted to experience life on America’s west coast. “I’m excited to play in the fastest growing rugby competition in the world,” he said after the MLR franchise took to social media to announce his signing.
“San Diego has a great team and a fantastic culture. I can’t wait to be part of the Legion with the hope of winning the MLR title in 2020.”
San Diego Legion announces its first new player signing for the 2020 season in superstar England representative and former European Player of the Year, Steffon Armitage.
— San Diego Legion (@SDLegion) July 9, 2019
San Diego Legion started up in 2018 and is one of the MLR’s seven founding teams. Their coach Rob Hoadley said: “Steffon is a world-class player who has proven himself to be one of the greats in the European club game.
“We are incredibly excited to have him join San Diego Legion in 2020. His talent and leadership will be a perfect addition to the Legion organisation.”
Armitage, who will join his new club for the start of pre-season training this December, had signalled his intention to carry on playing back in April when Pau confirmed they would not be offering him an extension following an injury-hit time.
“I want to continue. I am certainly 33 years old but I have come out of six months of rest. I rejuvenated. Physically, I feel ready to go on for at least two years.”
WATCH: The RugbyPass trailer for the Ben Foden MLR documentary that will be released this summer
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