MLR San Diego Legion sign former Super Rugby player Paddy Ryan

Paddy Ryan runs with the bal in Super Rugby action against the Rebels in 2018 at Melbourne, Australia

Paddy Ryan (pictured above) will join the second half of the 2021 MLR season. This will be his second stint with the San Diego Legion, with Ryan’s first stint in San Diego came in 2019, where he scored 15 points in 18 games.

Paddy Ryan and his professional career

It is official, Paddy Ryan is once again a Legion player. He will join San Diego in the second half of the 2021 MLR season. Ryan, who won the MLR’s 2019  Forward of the Year award, and would offer the franchise just as much in 2021.

Representing his country at school age, he represented Australia three times between 2012-14, when he was a member of the Waratahs. That Super Rugby side, the New South Wales Waratahs are based in Sydney. Playing from 2011-18, in that timeframe, he played 105 games, scored 15 points.

An established professional, Ryan was also part of the Waratah’s lone Super Rugby title in 2014 under head coach, Michael Cheika. To know the type of quality of player he was in Super Rugby, then assistant coach of the Waratahs, Cam Blades, said of Paddy Ryan: “Paddy continues to make a strong contribution to the team, which is a reflection of his ability to prepare himself well both physically and mentally,” Blades explained back in 2016.

Paddy Ryan has played for a number of club teams throughout his career. Graduating from schoolboy rugby to his University side, he played for the Sydney Stars during his formative Super Rugby term; 2014-15, and the NSW Country Eagles 2016-18. Since 2018, he has played for the Japanese-based Munakata Sanix Blues.

While he completes his Japan Top League obligations, Ryan plans to move from Japan to the Legion in the second half of the 2021 MLR season.

San Diego’s latest signing more ‘good news’ for Legion

This signing will be a positive acquisition, because of what Ryan brings to San Diego. A squad that is littered with a mix of local players as well as experienced offshore signings, adding a tall and solid prop will give the coaching staff more options from the bench. He joins well-respected signings, like Chris Robshaw (pictured below), Ma’a Nonu, and Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias.

San Diego Legion player Chris Robshaw photoshoot with the Barbarians in 2020
Chris Robshaw poses during the Barbarians squad photocall. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images for Barbarians)

This news came quickly after San Diego announced they will play the rest of their home games in San Diego. Ryan will be a great addition to a team that made the Major League Rugby Finals two years ago. Plenty is expected from the West Coast group, although Paddy Ryan must still complete his time in Japan, before he lands in Carlsbad, California.

This is nevertheless still good news for San Diego. Ryan could play for San Diego as soon as May. This is because the second half of the season for San Diego (according to the San Diego Legion’s website) will start on Saturday, May. 15 at 7:00 PT against the NOLA Gold.


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