San Diego Legion prepare for first championship series
SAN DIEGO – Beginning this weekend, the San Diego Legion have a chance to make Major League Rugby history. In their inaugural season, the team made the playoffs and is now making a push in the championship series for the season title.
After beating the undefeated Glendale Raptors, the Legion finished the regular season as the number three seed, automatically earning a spot in MLR’S Championship Series.
“We have a talented young group here and we’re always working hard,” said Drew Gaffney, who plays back row. “So it’s hard to say surprised about success but we know there are a lot of talented teams in this league and for us to have made the playoffs in the inaugural season is a great start for us.”
Outside of their sheer physical talent, the success behind their season also comes from the brotherhood they’ve created.
“Our connections are becoming stronger and stronger on and off the field,” said Gaffney. “Everyone’s kind of working harder. It’s just a slow progression of constant performance improvement that we’ve seen.”
“I think about it like a bar fight,” said Tony Lamborn, who plays the flanker position. “If I was to go into a fight in a bar, I would expect my brothers to back me up and it’s exactly what these guys would do. When we go out there on the pitch, we back each other up.”
That won’t be an easy task against the number 2 seed, the Seattle Seawolves. The two met just once this season but come Saturday, the Legion expect a win in their favor.
“They beat us,” said Lamborn. “They beat us just so I mean they’re a good side but I mean we’ve progressed late in the piece but I think we’re a force to be reckoned with and they need to look out.”
Should they defeat the Seawolves, the Legion return home to the University of San Diego for the championship game where they’ll face the winner between Glendale and Utah.
“It’d be amazing,” said Lamborn. “Some of these boys it would be a dream come true. I’ve been lucky to experience that a number of times back home but from my experience, it’s one of the greatest feelings in front of your family and friends, it’s the greatest.”
The championship game kicks off July 7.