US raids on Aussie franchises picking up
The threat to Australia’s Super Rugby stocks from the United States has deepened with veteran forward Angus Cottrell to play in Los Angeles next year.
Cottrell, a Wallabies squad member in 2018, will join Queensland Reds duo Ruan and JP Smith at the Venice Beach-based LA Giltinis for their inaugural season from March next year in the fourth instalment of the USA Rugby sanctioned competition.
The 31-year-old flank heads to the US after playing 90 games of Super Rugby for the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels.
Cottrell said he had weighed up offers from France, Japan and the United Kingdom before opting to sign with the Giltinis – a team owned by an Australian gym tycoon and named after a yet-to-be-released cocktail.
“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.”
Cottrell will join the Smith twins in LA after the established Super Rugby pair signed on last month.
Wallaby Stephen Hoiles is an assistant coach at the Giltinis while former Wallabies hooker Adam Freier is the team’s general manager.
The team has also been linked to Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper while former Wallabies great Chris Latham is coaching Utah and Drew Mitchell was poised to come out of retirement in New York before the delay.