by Photo by USD

A University of San Diego graduate is now a professional athlete in Major League Rugby. 

Oliver Kane is having quite the 2022, graduating with his master's degree earlier this year and now becoming a professional rugby player in the same city he just graduated from. 

In May of this year, Oliver Kane graduated from The School of Leadership and Education Sciences this past academic year just three months before San Diego Legion drafted him on August 18. 

Kane on leading up to his second-round draft: I was definitely a bit nervous. But once it started, I started to feel nervous in a good way. I was surrounded by my coaches and teammates, which was very cool.

The 24-year-old is not only the first player ever drafted from USD into Major League Rugby, but also the first drafted from the Gold Coast League, the rugby conference in which the University of San Diego plays. 

Kane was the captain of USD rugby when he was a student and led the Toreros to a league title and even a national championship at the Rugby 7s Collegiate tournament in May. 

USD Rugby Charlie Purdon on Oliver Kane's impact as a rugby player: Ollie's selection brings recognition to USD and demonstrates that San Diego as a whole is the place to go if you want the best quality individual player development opportunities. Additionally, it provides a positive perception of the program for future high school and college transfer rugby recruits. It also shows that a player can make it to the MLR out of a smaller, less established rugby college.

Oliver Kane says he is grateful to the University of San Diego for allowing him to find success there as a student and as a rugby athlete. 

“I’m very grateful and happy I made the decision to come here,” says Kane. “There are tons of people who have put a lot of time into me and my growth as a player and as a man.” 

San Diego Legion head coach Danny Lee on the addition of USD Alumnus to his professional rugby roster: We are super excited about our 2023 MLR Draft selections. Oliver Kane and Koikoi Nelligan, respectively, will be significant assets to the Legion family. We look forward to getting them up to speed with our style of play as soon as possible, gearing towards the 2023 MLR season.

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