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Brooklyn Hardaker Joins RFCLA for 2024

April 19, 2024 - Major League Rugby (MLR)
Rugby FC Los Angeles News Release

Rugby Football Club Los Angeles (RFCLA) have signed outside back Brooklyn Hardaker, who hails from Bronte, in New South Wales, Australia. The contract runs through the end of the current season.

The 24 year old started his professional rugby career with in Los Angeles with the Giltinis in 2022, before playing for New York Ironworkers, where he excelled when returning to play following a bout of injuried.

Hardaker, who started a junior in rugby league, has trained with the New South Wales Waratahs and was selected for Australia's Olympic 7s team in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and recently was part of the Western Force squad in 2024.

For 6' 200 lbs outside back, getting his professional debut in a new league in the United States, halfway across the world, was "pretty amazing."

"It was a different experience, a different group of boys," he says. ""I was so pumped to finally be able to get out there and run around."

Hardaker has only been involved in one training session with his new teammates in Los Angeles since signing on, but he's excited by what he's seen so far. "You can see the energy, everyone is so pumped and committed - they want to win," he says. "Everyone wants to be there for each other."

He has also been impressed by the development of the teams in the league. Thanks to youth leagues and the development of rugby at all levels across the United States, some MLR players now have the instincts that come naturally to players who are born and raised in countries where rugby is like a religion.

"You can definitely see it with the local American boys," says Brooklyn of the natural rugby instinct. "I started playing when I was four, grew up watching and playing... That is transferring into the American league. The instincts are definitely coming along."

On top of all that, he says, "the American boys are very eager to learn." The more experience foreign players, he says, can now "help with knowledge and professionalism, and the skills and standards that need to be kept."

Brooklyn says he is "excited to finally put the jersey on and finally represent LA."

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