Canadian international number eight Luke Campbell will stay on for a third year with Old Glory. The 30-year-old Vancouver native will be in his fifth year with Major League Rugby, having spent two years with the Toronto Arrows before coming to DC. He also has 13 caps for the Canadian national team and is slated to tour with them this fall.

First signed for the 2021 season, Campbell played just 4 matches before a back injury ended his season early. After year of being unable to even practice, he was eased back into MLR slowly in 2022. However, when Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz was suspended halfway through the year, Campbell stepped into the starting position with aplomb. He became an important part of the team, notable for his strong carries and physical play.

In the course of the season, he had 12 caps, 11 of them starts, for a total of 773 minutes. He was a reliable ball carrier, with his 97 carries were the fifth most on the team and his 10 offloads the second most of the forwards. He also ranked in the top five forwards for meters gained at 491. Defensively, he was very reliable, with his 91% tackle success rate tied for the best among players with a significant number of tackles, and his 13 dominant tackles were second most on the team.

The competition for playing time between Campbell and Fa'anana-Schultz will be interesting to observe. While Fa'anana-Schultz has been the presumed starter since Old Glory's first season, Campbell made a strong case for himself, playing very well as a starter for long stretches last season. We could see a genuine battle for the starting jersey.

We may also see Campbell relegated to a backup off the role. Although most natural at eight, he has played professionally and internationally as a flanker as well, and would make for a strong presence off the bench. Regardless, too much talent is a good problem to have.


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