Seattle Seawolves – Riekert Hattingh
The Seattle Seawolves have re-signed 24-year-old No. 8 Riekert Hattingh for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. After being selected as captain for the 2018 MLR season, he received a concussion during week one of the season. As a result, he returned to play toward the end of the season.
This year is an important one for him, as USA Rugby will have a keen eye on his performance. He becomes eligible to represent USA Rugby on June 1, 2019, having completed the World Rugby required 36 consecutive months of residence. He will then be eligible for the June tests and for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
In an article by Mark Janzen, Hattingh indicates that “I like the American lifestyle. It’s exciting being part of the next big thing. Everyone talks about America being the sleeping giant of rugby, so being able to come over and be part of the growth is what I enjoy.”
Teammate Mike Palefau, who has USA Rugby caps with both the 15s and sevens teams, said “He’s a good leader in the forward pack and he runs all the lineouts. He pretty much teaches the guys all the little tricks that the casual fan might not even notice. He’s really good at breaking down techniques in the rucks and counter rucks and those sorts of things.”
Hattingh was also involved with rugby sevens this past Summer. He played with Washington Athletic Club at the USA Rugby Club 7s Nationals.
Hattingh has also coached with Tiger Rugby Academy and will be excellent in that role for Academy Rugby in the area.
The Seattle Seawolves describe that “Hattingh loves to break through the gaps and find his support with offloads, which helped the Seawolves clinch the Major League Rugby Championship in the Final versus Glendale. Riekert brings the perfect blend of rugby IQ and athleticism to his role.”
DJCoil Rugby NOV. 17, 2017 Riekert Hattingh Article Below.
In 2015 Riekert came to the United States and played with the Austin Blacks. He returned to South Africa to play with the Blue Bulls 2016 Super Rugby squad and also played for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup.
In 2016 he was part of the first professional league in the United States where he played for the Ohio Aviators. He also played for Scioto Valley/Columbus Rugby in 2016-17 and has been a Tiger Rugby Academy Coach in 2016-17.
Riekert had family rugby role models to follow. Professional rugby runs in the family as his dad, Drikus Hattingh, and his uncle, Ruben Kruger were both Springboks. Riekert indicated that “rugby always been part of my life and dream since I could remember like most boys in South Africa. I do what I love every day and I’m excited to play some good rugby again and be part of the inaugural season of the Major League Rugby and join a great team like the Seattle Seawolves. The only challenges that there is in playing professional rugby, especially overseas, is being away from the family and not seeing them a lot.”