6 Shute Shield players heading to the US to play in the MLR in 2024
Whether it’s the appeal of living in America or the promise of non-existent F45 gyms, more and more young Australian players continue to sign in the Major League Rugby competition in the US.
The competition’s regular season runs from February to mid June, with a two week finals series played after a short break in mid to late July.
A number of US based players, like Randwick’s Christian Poidevin, returned to play in the Shute Shield in the lead up to and during the playoffs last year but that will likely only occur if a player’s MLR side doesn’t make the playoffs.
Here are six Shute Shield players who are heading to the so-called ‘land of opportunity’ in 2024.
Conor Winchester – Dallas Jackals
Hunter Wildfires playmaker Conor Winchester has signed with the Dallas Jackals for next season. Winchester matured into one of the most consistent playmakers in the competition after returning to Newcastle several seasons ago.
Darcy Breen – San Diego Legion
24-year old Sydney Uni prop Darcy Breen will join 2023 finalists San Diego Legion next season. Breen spent time in the Waratahs system and made one Super Rugby appearance in 2021 for the Tahs.
Cyrille Cama – San Diego Legion
Breen will pack down beside hooker Cyrille Cama at San Diego next year. Cama followed Steve Hoiles from the LA Gilitinis back to Randwick last year but spent most of 2023 playing between first and second grade.
Cameron Orr – Seattle Seawolves
Globetrotting former West Harbour prop Cameron Orr is on the move again and will play with the Seattle Seawolves next season. Orr spent several seasons playing for Gloucester, before returning to play with the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels. Most recently, he’s been playing with Wellington in New Zealand’s NPC.
Alex Pohla – Utah Warriors
Gun Hunter outside back Alex Phola is also heading to the US to play with Utah Warriors. The former Samoan U20s back starred for Gordon for a number of seasons and spent a summer training with the Waratahs before returning to Newcastle to play closer to his home on the Central Coast.
Phil Bradford – Utah Warriors
Another Wildfire heading stateside, promising hooker Phil Bradford will join Pohla in Utah. Bradford began his time in the Shute Shield at West Harbour before returning to Newcastle to join the Wildfires for three seasons.