Rugby ATL hosts Rugby United New York on Sunday, February 23 at Life University. Kickoff is at 3 pm. The match will be streamed on ESPN+ and for international viewers may be seen on Major League Rugby Facebook watch. There will be tailgating prior to the match.
Rugby ATL is in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 record and 9 points after wins against the Utah Warriors and NOLA Gold. Rugby United New York has a 1-1 record after playing two matches in the MLR Vegas Weekend. They opened with a loss to the New England Free jacks and beat the Austin Gilgronis.
Rugby ATL Head Coach Scott Lawrence has made nine changes in the starters from last week’s win over NOLA Gold.
In the forwards, Chance Wenglewski and Cronan Gleeson return to the front row, Canadian international Conor Keys is at lock and the back row includes Jason Damm, with Harry Higgins and Bill Fukofuka making their regular-season debut with the team.
The backs have three changes with Austin White and Zander Van Schalkwyk at the wing and Sean Coughlan at the outside center.
With a 16 man season, Duane Aholeli, Matt Heaton, Jeremy Misailegalu, and Harley Davidson are not on the matchday 23.
Rugby ATL is a young and talented team that uses the quick ball to create scoring opportunities. They will try to test RUNY early. They need to minimize handling and discipline infractions against an experienced Roosters side,
Rugby United New York
RUNY Head Coach Greg McWilliams has made three forwards changes from last week’s win over Austin Gilgronis. Paddy Ryan returns at tighthead prop and James Rochford and newly acquired Charlie Hewitt will play for the first time this season as loosehead prop and at lock, respectively.
Tighthead prop Kirk Hamilton and newly signed Eagle Hanco Germishuys will be in the reserves.
Last week, the team played a game of creative rugby and an expansive style to score seven tries. The Roosters and Rugby ATL favor an expansive brand of rugby and utilize fast line speed in defense. When the Roosters kick for territory, their maul is one of the best in the league.
RUNY has its most complete team of the season, as early injuries have forced versatility in forward player positions. The Roosters will want to be fast out of the gates and have Rugby ATL try to play from behind. Rugby ATL was penalized often last week and if that continues, the Roosters will be mauling for tries.
Squads with Player Article Links
Rugby ATL: 1 Chance Wenglewski 2 Alex Maughan 3 Cronan Gleeson 4 Stefan Willemse 5 Conor Keys 6 Jason Damm 7 Harry Higgins 8 Bill Fukofuka 9 Duncan Van Schalkwyk 10 Kurt Coleman 11 Austin White 12 Ryan Nell (C) 13 Sean Coughlan 14 Zander Van Schalkwyk 15 Rory Van Vugt 16 Amro Gouda 17 Jamie Ferrante 18 Julian Montes 19 Johan Momsen 20 Ross Deacon 21 Kurtis Werner 22 Martini Talapusi 23 Harley Wheeler
Rugby United New York: 1 James Rochford 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Paddy Ryan 4 Charlie Hewitt 5 Nate Brakeley 6 Kyle Sumsion 7 James Denise 8 Mathieu Bastareaud 9 Marcus Walsh 10 Cathal Marsh 11Connor Wallace-Sims 12 Chris Mattina 13 Troy Lockyear14 Mark O’Keeffe15 Ben Foden16 Mike Brown 17 Anthony Parry 18 Kirkland Hamilton 19 Robert Irimescu 20 Hanco Germishuys 21 Mike Petri 22 Harry Bennett 23 Quentin Pradere