Lincoln McClutchie, a formidable force in New Zealand's rugby scene and the top points scorer in the National Provincial Championship, has made headlines with his decision to sign with the San Diego Legion for the 2024 Major League Rugby (MLR) season. This announcement comes amid McClutchie's conspicuous absence from the Super Rugby Pacific teams for the February season.
McClutchie's Rugby Journey
Since making his debut in 2018, McClutchie has played 64 games and amassed an impressive 454 points for Hawke's Bay. His rugby journey has seen him contribute to the success of several teams, including the Red Hurricanes Osaka in Japan and the Moana Pasifika in Super Rugby. Despite this international move, the first five-eighth player is expected to remain available for Hawke's Bay as they aim for victory in the NPC first division in 2024, following their inaugural finals appearance.
A New Chapter with San Diego Legion
The San Diego Legion, a prominent American rugby club, introduced McClutchie as their newest addition through social media announcements and a video message from Lincoln McClutchie himself, expressing his enthusiasm about joining the team. The Legion's roster also includes Tupou Aufugia, another player from Hawke's Bay, and is headed by former All Black and Hawke's Bay assistant coach, Danny Lee. McClutchie's signing with the Legion marks a new chapter in his rugby career and signifies a potential boost for the American club.
Major League Rugby: A Growing Sport in America
Major League Rugby, which took off in 2018, represents the burgeoning popularity of rugby in the United States. While the league faces some challenges, including the withdrawal of two teams in its expansion year, the signing of a player of McClutchie's caliber suggests a promising future. However, fans are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the season's schedule.