NOLA Gold added Wilhelm Johannes ‘Hanno’ Dirksen for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. Hanno, who is 30 years of tomorrow, is 6’0” and 215 lbs.
Hanno was born in Krugersdorp, South Africa, and played with the Blue Blues U12s and U13s. His family emigrated to the United States when he was 15, and lived in Nashville, Tennessee. He attended Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia, and played for the USA U17s and U18s. He then played in two friendlies with the Senior National team with his debut against Munster, for USA Coach Scott Johnson. Because they were friendlies, this did not commit him from playing for the USA. Hanno also received the USA Rugby Foundation player grant for 2008.
After Scott Johnson left to coach with the Ospreys, Hanno followed on a student visa in 2008 and attended Truro College before transferring to Neath Port Talbot College where he qualified as a level 2 plumber. He played rugby with St Ives RFC, the Ospreys Academy, and with Swansea RFC.
Hanno made his Senior Ospreys debut against Bath in 2009, signed a professional contract with them in 2011, and helped the team win the 2012 Pro 12 Championship against Leinster.
Hanno would go on to make 154 appearances with the Ospreys while scoring 40 tries. He played in the Heineken Cup, as well as in the European Champions Cup.
Hanno was eligible to play for the United States, South Africa, or since 2014, for Wales, based on residency. This has changed, as he is no longer eligible based on residency for the USA based on World Rugby residency regulations.
In 2021 he will return to the U.S and contribute to his new team, NOLA Gold, as well as to Major League Rugby.