2021 Midwest Thunderbirds Player Pool Named

Midwest Rugby Football Union Release

Men’s Thunderbird Program Player Pool

CHICAGO (Sept. 17, 2021) – The Midwest Rugby Football Union (MRFU) announced its men’s player pool for the 2021-2022 competitive cycle today. The pool was selected by the Thunderbird Coaching staff and will assemble on Oct. 2, 2021, in Chicago.

Chicago Griffins Head Coach Darren Morris has been named the new Head Coach of the Men’s Thunderbird Program. Morris is a former Wales international rugby player who also represented the British & Irish Lions. His background also includes international and domestic professional coaching roles.

Men’s Thunderbirds Head Coach: Darren Morris; Photo Credit: American Rugby News


The MWRFU also thanks Paul Vercoe for his assistance earlier this summer in helping to organize and contributing to the program. We wish Paul well with his career endeavors.

NOLA Gold Head Coach Nate Osbourne joins the coaching staff at the October assembly as a guest technical advisor. Osbourne’s background includes serving as the Eagles’ backs/attack coach for the 2015 World Cup squad and the Metropolis (Metro) RFC head coach. Welcome back to the Midwest, Nate!

The preliminary roster includes 38 players representing 15 respective clubs from throughout the MRFU including:


  1. Michael Alamo – Chicago Westside Condors (CRC)
  2. Albert Annadale – Wisconsin
  3. Todd Becker – Bremer County Bucks
  4. Rico Blackman – Cincinnati Wolfhounds
  5. Nick Brett – Cincinnati Wolfhounds
  6. Eric Davis – Scioto Valley Columbus Rugby Club
  7. Jake Eades – Cedar Rapids Rugby
  8. Pawel Fadeneli – Detroit Tradesmen
  9. Alex Gordon – Pittsburgh Forge
  10. Patrick Hafenbridle – Michiana Moose
  11. Brody Hastings – Pittsburgh Forge
  12. Jeremy Hericks – Eastside Banshees
  13. Jake Loux – Lincoln Park Rugby
  14. Chris Mans – Pittsburgh Forge
  15. Nick McCauley – Cincinnati Wolfhounds
  16. Augie Murphy – Cincinnati Wolfhounds
  17. LJ Murray – Scioto Valley Columbus Rugby Club
  18. Ryan O’Neil – Chicago Griffins
  19. Ian Parkinson – Iowa City
  20. Kavika Peniata – Metropolis Rugby Club
  21. Dustin Penrod – Chicago Griffins
  22. Chris Schade – Scioto Valley Columbus Rugby Club
  23. Zach Seger – Pittsburgh Forge
  24. David Stauder – Scioto Valley Columbus Rugby Club


  1. Buger Beyers – Chicago Griffins
  2. Brendan Cioppa – Pittsburgh Forge
  3. Nolan Corley – Chicago Griffins
  4. Matthew Crabtree – Chicago Griffins
  5. Matt Drzewiecki – Milwaukee Barbarians
  6. Rashad Finley – Cincinnati Wolfhounds
  7. Billy Gordon – Pittsburgh Forge
  8. Casey Hansen – Bremer County Bucks
  9. Imad Harajly – Detroit Tradesmen
  10. Damon Jones – Cincinnati Wolfhounds
  11. Campbell O’Connor – At Large
  12. Scott Peterson – Chicago Griffins
  13. Gavin Spisak – Detroit Tradesmen
  14. Craig Williamson – Pittsburgh Forge

Final rosters and fixtures for Men’s and Women’s programs will be released in early October.

About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant