LA Giltinis sign Adam Ashley-Cooper; team to play at Coliseum

Wallabies legend Adam Ashley-Cooper has signed a one-year deal to play in Major League Rugby with the LA Giltinis for the 2021 season.

The 36-year-old last played in Australia with the Waratahs in 2019, and was supposed to play MLR with the Austin Gilgronis in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashley-Cooper said he made the decision to play in the States to help grow the game in an emerging market. The 2021 MLR season will be Giltinis' first.

"The opportunity to play rugby in the US, travel the country to enjoy everything it has to offer and share in a real movement of rapid growth for the game is very appealing," Ashley-Cooper told Rugby.com.au.

"Having played in France and Japan, I've really enjoyed embracing different cultures but also the Barbarians-style dynamic within those teams of players from around the world.

"It's a hard thing to turn down with that same dynamic at the Giltinis."

Ashley-Cooper played 121 Tests for Australia, with his last cap coming back in 2019 at the Rugby World Cup.

The Giltinis have also announced they will play out of Los Angeles' famed Coliseum when they make their Major League Rugby debut next month.

"The game of Rugby is built upon a rich history. It prides itself on its values and tradition, but continues to look at ways to innovate. This is exactly why we are partnering with such an iconic and celebrated sporting arena in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 'The Greatest Stadium in the World' as it is widely tagged," Giltinis General Manager Adam Freier said.

"Performance and entertainment will drive what we do here at the LA Giltinis. From our performance on the field, to game day presentation right through to our broadcast, we will be innovative, daring and always have our fans front of mind.

"We want to appeal to Rugby fans of all ages and we'll be working hard to attract plenty of new ones in our local community.

"We have developed and will keep updating COVID-safe plans to ensure our fans can enjoy an experience they have been eagerly awaiting. It's going to be fun.

"On behalf of the club, I would like to thank the entire team at the Coliseum for not only their support and efforts this past 12 months, but for their passion and vision for Rugby here in LA."