The Colorado Raptors host the Utah Warriors at Infinity Park at Glendale on Saturday, February 29. Kickoff is at 6 pm ET and the match will be broadcast on Eleven Sports, FTF, and on KMYU. For international viewers, the match may be viewed on Major League Rugby Facebook Live.
The Colorado Raptors are 0-3 after losses to the Houston SaberCats, the San Diego Legion. and after a home loss to NOLA Gold. The latter is only the second time the team has lost at home since the beginning of the league in 2018.
Colorado Raptors Head Coach Peter Borlase has made six changes in the starters, two in the forward and four in the backs.
Michael Curry and Connor Cook will start as flankers. There is a new halfback pairing in Carlo DE Nysschen and Ata Malifa, with Rene Ranger at the outside center and Mason Emerson returning at fullback.
In the reserves, Aladdin Schirmer, who has played this season with the Glendale Merlins, makes his MLR debut with the Raptors after playing the past two seasons with the Seattle Seawolves.
The Western Conference is still a wide-open conference early in the season, with only the San Diego Legion undefeated. The remaining five teams appear to be evenly matched, so there is much to play for with three playoff spots up for grabs.
The Utah Warriors have made three changes in the starters since last week’s draw against the Austin Gilgronis. Puna Vuli and Sama Malolo will start at lock and flanker, respectively. For Malolo, it is his MLR debut.
Dominik Toluono will start at inside center and Ara Elkington makes his season debut from the reserves.
The Warriors enter the match in second place in the Western Conference. The team plays an expansive and physical brand of rugby and launches numerous counterattacks.
Colorado Raptors & Utah Warriors Squads
Colorado Raptors: 1 Sakaria Taulafo 2 Chad Gough 3 Marco Fepulea’i 4 Dakota O’Neil 5 Luke White (C) 6 Michael Curry 7 Connor Cook 8 Sam Slade 9 Carlo De Nysschen10 Ata Malifa 11 John Ryberg 12 Robbie Petzer 13 Rene Ranger 14 Mika Kruse 15 Mason Emerson 16 Jay Finau 17 Xendy Tatibouet 18 Kelepi Fifita 19 Brendan Daly 20 Aladdin Schirmer 21 Sean Yacoubian 22 Chad London 23 Nick Boyer
Utah Warriors: 1 Franco Van Den Berg 2 Veremalua Vugakoto 3 Angus MacLellan 4 Viliami Puna Vuli 5 Matt Jensen 6 Bailey Wilson 7 Sama Malolo 8 Jurie Van Vuuren 9 Dwayne Polataivao (C) 10 Hagen Schulte 11 James Vaifale 12 Dominik Toluono13 Calvin Whiting 14 Gannon Moore 15 Robbie Povey 16 Ricky Tu’ihalagingie 17 Huluholo Mo’ungaloa 18 Kalolo Tuiloma 19 Ara Elkington 20 Saia Uhila 21 Michael Baska 22 Jared Whippy 23 Tyler Fisher