The Utah Warriors have confirmed the signing of USA international John Cullen. While some Major League Rugby additions in recent days have come as a surprise, others have been more formalities. This certainly falls under the latter category.
A high school rugby player, Cullen also excelled at football and after being a standout offensive lineman with the University of Utah he signed first with the New York Jets of the NFL and then the San Diego Chargers, though he did not ultimately make the cut with either. By 2013 he had shed some 23 kg (50 lbs) and was selected for the Collegiate All-American tour of New Zealand and then the USA Select XV for the Americas Rugby Championship.
Cullen has fallen out of the spotlight somewhat since his rapid rise to test honors in 2014. The 1.96m (6’5″) second row missed out on Rugby World Cup 2015 selection and left the sport for a time, returning with Rugby Utah last year. At only 27 and with an exceptional athletic record he could yet return to international contention.