The LA Giltinis have recruited the experience and hard-edged forward power of Australian backrower Angus Cottrell.
Today’s announcement is a coup because wooing a seasoned forward with 90 games of Super Rugby behind him guarantees steel and standards in his new forward pack.
Cottrell, 31, will arrive in Major League Rugby at his new Los Angeles-based team eager to experience life at a club outside Australia for the first time.
The 239lb (108kg), 6’3” (1.91m) flanker weighed up France, Japan and the United Kingdom for this career move but considered LA the most appealing with his recent bride Dayna.
“I’ve given all I can to Australian rugby for nine seasons and I’ve been thinking this last year or two of experiencing a different culture through rugby,” Cottrell said.
“I was very quick to jump at the Giltinis when the option appeared because LA is a great place to live and an amazing international city.
“Being pioneers of the LA Giltinis is going to be pretty special but I’m also going to a brand new team capable of winning trophies.”
Cottrell has rich rugby genes. His father Nev Jnr played for Queensland in the 1970s and his grandfather Nev captained the Wallabies in 1950.
Cottrell was in the 2018 Wallabies training squad and when a Test chance potentially beckoned he was cruelly cut down by a knee ligament injury.
Cottrell played at both the Western Force (2012-17) and Melbourne Rebels (2018-20) in their formative years as Super Rugby clubs so he knows what it takes to put a new club on the map.
“You want to try to create a history for the club and team dynamics to build on,” Cottrell said.
“The biggest thing is how quickly we can come together and you have a headstart with an experienced head coach (Darren Coleman) and his staff.
“I think the Giltinis are building an amazing roster of experience and youth from the USA, Canada and overseas.
“The fans make a team special and we want to do all we can for them to enjoy good rugby and get out into the community to teach the game as well.”
Cottrell is a forceful tackler, go-forward runner and plays hard on the ball so the Giltinis will be getting the right sort of authority to play in the pack beside internationals Dave Dennis (Australia) and Adam Ashe (Scotland).
“The quality of the team environment that Angus helps create shows his character,” Giltinis assistant coach Stephen Hoiles said.
“He’s got toughness, high workrate and excellent defence but also attacking traits to his game.
“I think you’ll see some more of his link play come through in MLR. He’s a very good signing for the Giltinis.”