A livewire utility back, Cristian Rodriguez is delighted to be representing his city so close to where he grew up and still lives in Hawaiian Gardens in LA County.
He invariably plays above his size with the scintillating left-foot sidestep, speed and eye to attack that always threatens opposition defences.
Rodriguez played fullback for the USA Under-20s (2017) while at Lindenwood University which produced three Sevens National Championships, two Collegiate Rugby Championships and Men’s Collegiate All-American honours in both XVs and Sevens in his final year (2019).
All he has achieved sprang from the direction he found at 13 by joining the Alternatives To Gang Membership program run by mentor Ernie Vargas for at-risk youth.
The first in his family to go to college is admirably using his degree in recreation, sport and tourism management to mentor more kids to better futures through rugby.
As versatile as he is, the Giltinis used him principally as a back-up scrumhalf in 2021. He proudly earned his first starting role in a win over Seattle in June last year and continues to develop those specialist skills.