In a watershed announcement for the Club, Wallaby David Dennis has inked a two-season deal with the LA Giltinis and Major League Rugby.
Dennis, 34, will arrive direct from Europe’s leading club after his role with England’s trophy-hungry Exeter Chiefs in 2020, with a career that included 18 Wallabies Tests and more than 200 games at rugby’s elite levels.
Not only will Dennis add an accomplished skillset as a lock-backrower and forward leader, he will also join the Giltinis as part of the organisations Youth and Development team, coaching the next generation of Giltini and USA Rugby players.
The 6-foot, 4-inch, 250lb Australian skippered Exeter earlier this year and was part of the history-making English Premiership-European Rugby Champions Cup double in October.
Born and raised in Western Sydney, Dennis was captain during the height of the NSW Waratahs reign, which netted the 2014 Super Rugby title.
Dennis played 107 games for the Waratahs between 2007-16 before his move to the Exeter Chiefs (2016-2020) helped deliver four trophies.
“I’ve played for two proud clubs with long histories and what really excites me about the Giltinis is trying to build something special from the start at a new franchise,” Dennis said.
“There’s always been plenty of talk about American rugby being a sleeping giant and you do marvel at the athleticism in American sports.”
“My mindset is to win this competition and I’m sure the club has signed guys with the same ambition because the greatest fun is not just through winning respect but winning.”
Dennis expertise in Rugby is world class, which is why his role off the field leading the club’s youth and development program will play a monumental part in the Club’s foundations and pillars to build.
“Helping to develop young talent is something that motivates me now and for the future so there’s great opportunity at a club creating a really good pathway to the American Eagles and Rugby World Cups.
“I feel I’m bringing something of what I’ve learnt about winning team cultures from my 13 years in professional rugby.
Giltinis’ fans will enjoy the leadership that Dennis brings at scrum and lineout time while his team-orientated ways will be a plus for all around the club in it foundation season.
The decorated Wallaby said the chance to live, with his wife Mo’onia and three young children, in a pulsing city like Los Angeles also played a big part.
“I’m forever grateful for the places around the world I’ve been and the people I’ve met through rugby,” Dennis said.
“My oldest son Francis (6) already loves his sports so Mo’onia and I are going to be spoilt for choice around LA.”
Giltinis head coach Darren Coleman is delighted to have Dennis as a core member of his pack.
“Dave is a true leader who is renowned internationally for what he brings to a team culturally,” Giltinis head coach Darren Coleman said.
“After a great Super Rugby career, he’s spent the last few years at Exeter, which is close to, if not, the world leader in forward play.
“I looking forward to learning from him as his new teammates in the pack will.”
“His dual role with our youth and development programs will also play a massive role for the Club, not only in the next 1-2 years, but in 10 years time.”
The Giltinis will kick off their MLR campaign on the weekend of March 20, 2021, with tickets being available by the end of this year.
For more info on the MLR season and how to support the LA Giltinis, head to www.giltinis.com