Cameron Dolan (born March 7, 1990) is an American rugby union player who normally plays at the Number 8 position. He currently plays professionally for the Cardiff Blues, a team in the Pro 12. Dolan is one of few Americans to play rugby outside the United States, at professional level.

Early career

Dolan began playing rugby in high school with the Naples Bears in Florida,[2] before playing college rugby at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dolan played with Life University at the Collegiate Rugby Championship, and was named to the CRC All-Tournament team in 2012 and 2013. At Life University, Dolan was a four-time All-American and won a National Championship in 2013.[3]

Club career

Dolan's performance against the Maori in November 2013 was seen by Jim Mallinder, Head Coach of Northampton Saints, who offered Dolan a professional contract with the Saints. Dolan was brought in as an injury replacement for James Craig. Dolan joined fellow U.S. international Samu Manoa at the club. Dolan did not make any first team appearances for Northampton during the 2013–14 season, however, he made several appearances for the Saint's sevens team and second side, Wanderers.[4] His strong performances in training earned him a one-year extension with Saints for the 2014–15 Premiership season. Dolan made his professional debut for Northampton Saints on January 31st 2015 in the Anglo Welsh Cup.[5]

Following two seasons with Saints, Dolan joined Cardiff Blues for the 2015-16 Pro 12 season.[6]

International career

Dolan first appeared on the International scene during 2009, where he was named captain of the United States U20's team for the 2009 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy.[7] At this time he was the United States Rugby Foundation Development Grant Recipient, which is a foundation to develop and improve upcoming rugby talent in the United States.

His efforts for the Under 20's side and his club side landed Dolan in the United States senior side for the 2013 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, the inaugural year for the United States in the competition. He made his full International debut at No.8 against Fiji, as a replacement for captain Todd Clever who was unable to play this match due to injury. His third and fourth cap, came when the USA faced Canada in Round 3 of the 2015 Rugby World Cup Americas qualifications, which ended in a 2–0 defeat thus parachuting USA down to the NACRA-CONSUR playoff final.

In October 2013, Dolan was named captain for the USA Select XV side in the 2013 Americas Rugby Championship. He led the side to two victories; against Canada A and Uruguay.[8][2] Following this Championship, Dolan was named in the American squad for their 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests. He was named Man of the Match in their opening game against the Māori All Blacks, picking up a try at the 71st minute.[2]

At the conclusion of 2013, Dolan was named the U.S. Breakout Player of the Year by Rugby Mag.[2]