MLR Nationality Breakdown By Position: Austin Gilgronis

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The other day I was thinking about fly-halves in the MLR -- since that is my position -- and I got to thinking how few American players there are playing fly-half in Major League Rugby. The only ones I could think of off the top of my head were Ben Cima (SEA), Scott Dean (SEA), Tadgh Leader (NE) and Zinzan Elan-Puttick (AUS) -- and it's worth noting that both Leader and Elan-Puttick grew up playing rugby in Ireland and South Africa respectively. 

So then I started thinking about positions in general, and which ones American players seem to occupy the most frequently in the MLR. To make it easier, I only looked at starting rosters from the first five weeks of the shortened 2020 season, but I think that's enough quantifiable data to get an idea of where American-eligible players are playing. 

*I used players' nationality of eligibility rather than their place of birth because the former of those two bits of information is much more easily attainable. 

 I've decided to go through and do each team one by one, starting alphabetically, so first up are the Austin Gilgronis. 

Austin Gilgronis

Prop: USA (5 starts); Uruguay (2 starts); New Zealand (3 starts)

Week1: Larome White (USA) & Juan Echeverría (URU)
Week 2: Juan Echeverría (URU) & Mason Pedersen (USA)
Week 3: Jamie Mackintosh (NZL) & Mason Pedersen (USA)
Week 4: Jamie Mackintosh (NZL) & Mason Pedersen (USA)
Week 5: Jamie Mackintosh (NZL) & Mason Pedersen (USA)

Hooker: USA (2); South Africa (3)

Week 1: Chris Schade (USA)
Week 2: Chris Schade (USA)
Week 3: Tiann Erasmus (RSA)
Week 4: Tiann Erasmus (RSA)
Week 5: Tiann Erasmus (RSA)

Locks: USA (1); Fiji (5); South Africa (1); Samoa (3)

Week 1: JP Novak (USA) & Maikeli Naromaitoga (FIJI)
Week 2: Rikus Zwart (RSA) & Maikeli Naromaitoga (FIJI)
Week 3: Potu Leavasa Jr. (SAM) & Maikeli Naromaitoga (FIJI)
Week 4: Potu Leavasa Jr. (SAM) & Maikeli Naromaitoga (FIJI)
Week 5: Potu Leavasa Jr. (SAM) & Maikeli Naromaitoga (FIJI)

Flanker: USA (5); Canada (3); Samoa (2)

Week 1: Potu Leavasa Jr. (SAM) & Dominic Akina (USA)
Week 2: Potu Leavasa Jr. (SAM) & Dominic Akina (USA)
Week 3: Dominic Akina (USA) & Moe Abdelmonem (CAN)
Week 4: Dominic Akina (USA) & Moe Abdelmonem (CAN)
Week 5: Dominic Akina (USA) & Moe Abdelmonem (CAN)

No. 8: Fiji (5)

Week 1: Lino Saunitoga (FIJI)
Week 2: Lino Saunitoga (FIJI)
Week 3: Lino Saunitoga (FIJI)
Week 4: Lino Saunitoga (FIJI)
Week 5: Lino Saunitoga (FIJI)

Scrum-half: Chile (4); Samoa (1)

Week 1: Marcelo Torrealba (CHI)
Week 2: Marcelo Torrealba (CHI)
Week 3: Marcelo Torrealba (CHI)
Week 4: Marcelo Torrealba (CHI)
Week 5: Pele Cowley (SAM)

Fly-half: United States (4); Tonga (1)

Week 1: Zinzan Elan-Puttick (USA)
Week 2: Zinzan Elan-Puttick (USA)
Week 3: Zinzan Elan-Puttick (USA)
Week 4: Zinzan Elan-Puttick (USA)
Week 5: Kurt Morath (TGA)

Center: United States (8); New Zealand (2)

Week 1: Sione Fangaiuiha (USA) & Peni Tagive (USA)
Week 2: Sione Fangaiuiha (USA) & Peni Tagive (USA)
Week 3: Gabe Farley (USA) & Peni Tagive (USA)
Week 4: Gabe Farley (USA) & Frank Halai (NZL)
Week 5: Gabe Farley (USA) & Frank Halai (NZL)

Wing: United States (10)

Week 1: Alex Faison-Donahue (USA) & Corey Jones (USA)
Week 2: Rodrick Waters (USA) & Corey Jones (USA)
Week 3: Rodrick Waters (USA) & Corey Jones (USA)
Week 4: Rodrick Waters (USA) & Corey Jones (USA)
Week 5: Rodrick Waters (USA) & Corey Jones (USA)

Fullback: Uruguay (5)

Week 1: Rodrigo Silva (URU)
Week 2: Rodrigo Silva (URU)
Week 3: Rodrigo Silva (URU)
Week 4: Rodrigo Silva (URU)
Week 5: Rodrigo Silva (URU)

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