By Ali Stokes
Former England and Northampton Saints fullback Ben Foden is ready to return to rugby after a period away from the game following his departure from the Saints last May.
Foden, 33, last played for England in 2013, having amassed 34-caps over a four year period, making his debut against Italy during the 2009 Six Nations as a scrum-half.
Subsequently switching to fullback shortly after his switch from Sale Sharks to Northampton, the Chester-born back is set to begin his career for his New York club after a decade and 174 appearances in a Saints jersey.
Expressing his excitement on Instagram yesterday, Foden said: "Had some time away from the game, been able to get away reflect as well as do some different things and experiences.
"But the time has finally come to dust off the old boots and get back in the fight. First training session marked in for the 8th of November and I can't wait to get over to the states and get fully stuck in.
"Big change for me, a even bigger challenge with it being Rugby United New York's first year in the MLR [Major League Rugby] and we want to start with a bang."
Rugby United NY are set to begin their first season in Major League Rugby league, joining teams Austin Elite Rugby (Texas), Glendale Raptors (California), Houston Sabercats (Texas), New Orleans Gold (Louisiana), San Diego Legion (California), Seattle Seawolves (Washington), Utah Warriors (Utah) and Ontario Arrows (Toronto).
A league in which Foden will face former USA captain and Newcastle Falcons flanker Todd Clever (Austin Elite), narrowly missing out on playing against Harlequins' bullocking centre and former NFL player Paul Lasike, who made his switch from the Utah Warriors to the Stoop over the summer.
A nine team league, MLR, will expand to a 13 sided format in 2020, with sides from California, Georgia US, Massachusetts and Washington DC all set to join.