"Thanksgiving Edition" - Ultimate XV: The Best United States Born Rugby Players - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

“Thanksgiving Edition” – Ultimate XV: The Best United States Born Rugby Players


10. AJ MacGinty

9. Nick McCarthy

Sale Sharks player AJ MacGinty attacks Wasps player Tommy Taylor during the Gallagher Premiership rugby game between Sale Sharks and Wasps at JW Bell Stadium on Sept 22 – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

Bristol Bears’ AJ MacGinty was a straight-forward pick for our Ultimate XV. The fly-half is still plying his trade in the Premiership, yet has only featured once so far in the 2023/24 season. MacGinty injured his hamstring in the opening weekend against Leicester Tigers, and is eyeing a return to Ashton Gate before too long. A Sale Sharks stalwart, the American international called the AJ Bell home for eight seasons, and won the 2020 Premiership Rugby Cup with the side.

Set to supply the ammunition to his first receiver, scrum-half Nick McCarthy is our pick for the number nine jersey. Lining up with MacGinty on the international stage, McCarthy has spent his career between Irish giants Leinster and Munster. The Irish born halfback is currently in his second Dublin stint, and has lifted one Champions Cup and two league titles with the Irish province.


1. Alex Corbisiero

2. Robert Irimescu

3. Hope Rogers

Onto the front row now, and we begin with a twice capped British and Irish Lion in Alex Corbisiero. The former England loose-head made 31 test appearances, that predominantly came in the Stuart Lancaster era of the national side. Born in New York City, Corbisiero moved to England just before he turned five, and grew up around London. The 35-year-old made his way through the ranks at London Scottish, before swapping Exiles for London Irish, as he made his Premiership breakthrough. Corbisiero’s later singed for Northampton Saints, in a three year deal before his retirement in 2016.

Robert Irimescu is our choice at hooker, and the Romanian international shares his birth place with Corbisiero. Hailing from the Big Apple of NYC, Irimescu’s journey to rugby took him through the famous Penn State University and onto the New England Free Jacks. He signed for Old Glory DC in 2022, but has since made the move to Eastern Europe, having joined Romanian side CSM Știința Baia Mare for his international career.

Hope Rogers of Exeter Chiefs Women is tackled by Marlie Packer, co-captain of Saracens Women and Georgia Evans of Saracens Women during the Allianz Premier 15s semi-final match between Exeter Chiefs Women and Saracens Women at Sandy Park on 11 June 2023. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK.

Finishing off the front row is our first women’s player of the squad, as Exeter Chiefs star Hope Rogers comes into the fold. Rogers is also Penn State alumni, and achieved Four National Championships and two MVP awards with the college. Rogers joined Susie Appleby’s side in January, and has had an immediate impact upon Premiership Women’s Rugby. Rogers was a cornerstone for the Chiefs, as they reached the final of last season’s play-offs. The prop already has three USA Sevens caps to her name, which showcases her unreal fitness from a positional standpoint.