Lock Max Dacey is the latest member of the Colorado XOs to make the jump to Major League Rugby after signing with Rugby United New York on Friday morning, the team announced.
Unlike his Gelen Robinson, Shawn Clark, David Still, and Ma’ake Muti – his XO teammates that have signed with MLR clubs over the last few months – Dacey was not a crossover athlete. Having been a part of Glendale’s academy system in the past, he was one of the most experienced rugby players on the team in 2021. His debut with RUNY will mark his second stint in MLR after logging some time with the Raptors in 2018.
“The Colorado XO team wanted to recruit a few young experienced rugby players to help bring the newer players along, with both the sport and culture,” Colorado XO director of recruiting Peter Pasque said via RUNY’s release. “Max did this and more. He brought with him the upside of playing at the highest level, and his work rate on and off the field is top-notch.”
Dacey showed up to the team a few weeks after the initial assembly, but the 6’7” 22-year-old made an immediate impact. His size and experience served as a steady hand for a team filled with players learning the ins and outs of the sport. His return to the pitch also marked the end of a two-year break from rugby as he was sidelined with a back injury that required surgery.
Dacey appeared in six of the 10 matches that the XOs played in 2021.
He is the fifth member of the Colorado XOs to sign with a Major League Rugby team.
“We are hugely impressed with the Glendale program, know their coaching staff well, and look forward to developing an ongoing relationship with them,” New York’s Steve Lewis said via the release.