An Inside Look at San Diego Legion with Zack Test and Nate Augspurger
Since Major League Rugby began, San Diego has been one of the competitions most consistent sides. Reaching the playoffs in 2018 and the Final in 2019, Legion looked all but set to continue their run to the knockout stages of the MLR season, with many citing the team as favorites to hoist the Championship Shield at the seasons end.
With several fan favorites amongst their ranks, the likes of Joe Pietersen, Keni Nasoqeqe, Psalm Wooching, Ma’a Nonu and Nate Augspurger all played a big part in cementing the side at the head of the Western Conference and overall standings.
Having spent his entire career in England with the London club, Robshaw won the Premiership with Harlequins in 2012 and the 2016 Six Nations Championship with England. Gathering 66 England caps over nine years, Robshaw led his country as captain at their home Rugby World Cup in 2015.
Recently announced as co-Head Coach of San Diego Legion, Zack Test believes that Robshaw will offer his San Diego Legion team plenty both on and off the field.
“Chris is an incredible person on and off the field,” Test started. “I think he is going to have an incredible impact within our squad and within our community. We are very excited to have him and I think that he will create a great impact within the whole entity that we are trying to create and I am very excited to get him, boots on the ground, and get everyone else here too.”
Nate Augspurger too is looking forward to his new teammate’s arrival in California. Having been a part of Legion since the side’s inception, the scrumhalf even led the side in 2018 as captain and is massively in favour of growing the game of rugby in California, as well as America.
“The great thing about rugby in comparison to other sports is our game is global and if we are allowing the best people, like Chris Robshaw, to teach the game to our kids it’s a great thing,” Augspurger said.
“Robshaw is joining a long list of foreign players who have been in MLR, who have been helping grow rugby in the community. I think it is going to be great to have him around, it is going to bode well for the Southern California rugby community and whoever else he can get to and coach.”
It is well known that the rugby community in California is a strong one. For many years the university programs at UCLA, UC Berkeley, Saint Mary’s College, Santa Clara University and California Polytechnic State University having all produced great rugby players, including some of the 2020 MLR Draft picks.
With the 12th overall selection at the inaugural Major League Rugby Draft, Zack Test and Scott Murray selected Patrick Madden from Cal Poly. A standout performer at college level, Madden is a California native, first picking up a rugby ball as a five-year-old. Legion selected wing Cole Zarcone with the 24th overall selection from Central Washington University as well, with Test looking forward to welcoming the pair.
“We are very excited to have Patrick and Cole,” Test said. “Patrick grew up here and has really developed into an outstanding new man who we are looking forward to having here for many years to come.
“Cole, I have watched him ever since his freshman year and he is a very athletic boy who has continued to get better and really make an impact on any squad he has been a part of. I am very excited for the both of them, they are two outstanding young men who I think will have a big impact on our squad.”
Of course, the club game in California is strong too, Legion having recruited heavily from their surrounding area to make for a competitive squad. Having gained quite the following in San Diego, the side has retained largely the same names on their roster, as well as on the coaching staff for the past three seasons.
Augspurger, like many others, has been a constant at the Torero Stadium. Having formerly played for the USA Sevens side, the scrumhalf represented the Eagles at the most recent Rugby World Cup in Japan, playing pool games against Argentina and Tonga. Augspurger says that it has been the consistency of players staying with the side throughout the journey.
“The main goal is to try and get a really cohesive, strong group of guys,” Augspurger said. “That already existed last season, but in the previous seasons too. We have had guys around since the first season of MLR, so we will probably be trying to get a lot of similar guys.
“Obviously, we have the likes of Chris Robshaw who is going to be joining us, so that is going to be an amazing addition and I am sure he is only going to raise our standards and bring even more to the environment. So that is our goal; to get a similar band together and just rock out again.”
Test too is looking ahead to next season. Having taken the reigns, along with former Scotland international Scott Murray, from Rob Hoadley, the USA international says that the goal for Legion remains the same. With an all-star cast of players at his disposal, the former University of Oregon football player believes that everything is in place to carry on their success.
“We want to improve day in and day out, week in and week out, really grow ourselves as an organization,” Test said. “Help grow players and help grow the community, continuing that vision we started out with in year one. We have great owners, a great staff around us, to continue that family environment and continue the momentum we had last season.”
Learn more about San Diego Legion by visiting their website.
AUSTIN, TX (June 25, 2020): The Austin Gilgronis are excited to announce
Since Major League Rugby began, San Diego has been one of
Following the inaugural Major League Rugby Draft Dan and Pete sit down
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