New Orleans Gold Opens Training Camp
The New Orleans Gold Rugby Club opened their 2018 Major League Rugby Training Camp on January 3, 2018. The members of the team with jobs during the day began their weight room session at the Westbank Athletic Club at 6 am and again at 1 pm.
Westbank Athletic Club
A number of the players arrived early for the 1 pm session. They went through their stretching routine and then went to various weight stations. When the actual training began, the team was divided into two groups. The first group went outside with Bum Lee, the Strength and Conditioning Coach, and owner of the Westbank Athletic Center. The second group worked with Zack Stryffeler inside with weights.
Bum demonstrated a verticle leap test and then each of the players was given several opportunities to produce their highest leap. After each player had completed this assessment the groups then switched places.
New Orleans Gold owner Tim Falcon was at the Westbank Athletic Club session and it was an excellent opportunity to meet with him to discuss team plans. General Manager Ryan Fitzgerald, Head Coach Nate Osborne, and Assistant Coach Chalie Baleirara were also there and discussed various team issues.
Players also have additional responsibilities in promoting rugby locally with Colleges, High Schools and with Youth Rugby. Some of the players will be coaching at high schools between the afternoon and early evening training sessions. Zack Stryffeler is working in developing youth rugby, as well as with strength and conditioning. Taylor Howden will be developing an Academy and Hubert Buydens will be working with the forwards.
After the completion of weight and testing, the team then went a short distance to the clubhouse to eat, relax and for some to see the team physician Dr. Neil L. Duplantier and/or the athletic trainers. Nate Osborne then led an attack video session with Forwards Coach Chalie Baleirara (Also New Orleans RFC Head Coach) operating the computer.
Gretna City Park
The team went to Gretna City Park to implement a portion of the attack plan. First, the team stretched and then went through the Branco test, which has been used in New Zealand to assess the All Blacks fitness levels. The test consists of a shuttle run for total time. Players will run 20 meters and return to the starting line and then do the same for 40 and 60 meters. The total time is based on five sets.
Assistant Coach Todd Fitzgerald was at the Park for the evening session and additional players that worked during the day also attended.
New Orleans Gold General Manager Ryan Fitzgerald Interview
Ryan Fitzgerald, New Orleans Gold Rugby Club General Manager, discussed the responsibilities of a professional rugby General Manager. The interview was conducted in the locker room at the Greta City Park training facility.
Exhibition Season Schedule
- January 20 Home vs. Capital Selects at Gretna City Park 1 pm CT
- February 24 At Houston SaberCats 7 pm CT
- March 17 Home vs Austin Elite
- March 28 Home vs Houston SaberCats
- April 7 At Austin Elite
New Orleans Gold Schedule
- April 21 At Houston Sabercats 7 pm CT
- May 5/6 At Austin Elite
- May 12/13 Home vs. Seattle Seawolves
- May 19 Home vs. Houston SaberCats 6 pm CT
- May 25 At Seattle Seawolves
- June 2/3 Home vs. Glendale Raptors
- June 9/10 Home vs. San Diego Legion
- June 16 At Utah Warriors 8 pm MT
Major League Rugby Schedule
The Major League Rugby 2018 Schedule for the Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors, Houston SaberCats, New Orleans Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, and the Utah Warriors has been released.
New Orleans Tricentennial
New Orleans is celebrating its tricentennial this year. Special events have already occurred and will continue in 2018. New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville on May 7, 1718. New Orleans is already a destination city and has already hosted the College Football Semi-Finals at the Sugar Bowl on January 1 and an NFL playoff on January 6 with the Saints defeating Carolina. Mardi Gras celebration also began on January 6 and will culminate on February 13.
New Orleans Gold will see many visitors coming to the city and the new New Orleans Gold CEO for Marketing and Business, Michael Lieberman, will be making connections with tour companies, businesses, schools, and the media, to promote the team. Expect the professional matches to be viewed by both the local community and by visitors to the city.
New Orleans Rugby Players
The following players have signed with the New Orleans Gold Rugby Club. Additional releases are listed for the personnel. More player signings are expected to be announced after the exhibition match against the Capital Selects on January 20 at Gretna City Park at 1 pm. See DJCoil Rugby Facebook for photos of Training Camp.
New Orleans Gold
- Tim Falcon – Owner
- Ryan Fitzgerald – General Manager
- Nate Osborne – Head Coach
- Todd Fitzgerald – Assistant Head Coach and Assistant General Manager
- Sebastián Kalm – Backrow
- Moni Tongauiha – Center
- Hubert Buydens – Loosehead prop
- Eric Howard – Hooker
- Ratu Peceli Rinakama – Flyhalf, Scrum-half, Wing, Fullback
- Bobby Johns – Center, Flyhalf, Scrumhalf
- Matt Hughston – Center, Flanker
- Jojo Tikoisuva – Wing
- JP Eloff – Flyhalf, Center, Fullback
- Holden Youngert – Scrum-half
- Michael Baska – Fullback
- Derrek Van Klein – Loosehead Prop
- Myles McQuone – Lock
- Alex Czajkowski – Lock
- William Waguespack – Lock
- Zach Stryffeler – Center
- Vincent Jobo – Flanker
- Cam Falcon – Hooker
- Ben Tarr – Tighthead Prop
- John Sullivan – Back-row & Utility Back
- Nikola Bursic – Lock, Backrow
- Taylor Howden – Fly-half, Center