Old Glory DC opens the 2023 Major League Rugby season at home against the Chicago Hounds on February 18 at 2 pm E.T. at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia. For those who can’t attend, the match will be broadcast on WASN2 and streamed on The Rugby Network.
Old Glory will be looking to significantly improve on last year’s record. The team changed coaches midseason after a subpar beginning in 2022. Since then, a new coach has arrived for 2023, and the team has made brought in some new players which should make the team very competitive in 2023.
The Chicago Hounds will have a solid starting 15 for their inaugural MLR season, with a couple of dynamic players still arriving. Team depth will be answered as the season progresses.
Old Glory DC and the Chicago Hounds will have an early bye week next week. Chicago will then play five consecutive home games at SeatGeek Stadium beginning on March 5. Old Glory DC will travel to face the defending MLR Shield Champions, Rugby New York Ironworkers, that same day at Memorial Stadium in Mount Vernon, New York.
Before the main event, there will be a Collegiate rugby match as a curtain raiser.
Old Glory DC
Old Glory DC hired a new coach in the off-season. Josh Syms is from New Zealand and looks for the team to contend in the Eastern Conference for a playoff berth. The team has made a number of player changes from last season and team depth have improved. Josh will be faced with some foreign player rotation for the team’s ten spots.
The team enters the regular season after a strong second-half loss in the preseason to Rugby New York and a convincing win against the Toronto Arrows. The preseason was used to see different combinations of players and to prepare for the regular season, but there seem to be positive signs that the team is moving in the right direction.
Head Coach Josh Syms will have six new players in the starting XV and another four in the reserves. New starters include Nic Souchon, former Army West Point back-row Collin Grosse, Lautaro Bavaro, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, and Fermin Martinez. New reserve players include Quentin Newcomer, former Central Washington prop Cali Martinez, Alejo Daireaux, and Marcos Young.
The Chicago Hounds are playing in the team’s inaugural Major League Rugby season. They benefited from the dispersal draft of Austin Gilgronis and La Giltinis players, but have had to look for domestic players with a few foreign additions to complete their roster.
The team had one preseason modified match consisting of a half against Rugby ATL and another against the American Raptors in Panama City, Florida.
All Chicago Hounds players will be playing their first regular-season match with the team. The team benefited from the dispersal draft with 10 Austin Gilgronis and 4 LA Giltinis players on the matchday 23 roster. The team is still expecting the arrival of two-time MLR Back of the Year, Billy Meakes, as well as a dynamic wing.
Squads With Player Article Links
Old Glory DC: 1 Jack Iscaro 2 Nic Souchon 3 Kyle Stewart 4 Stan South (VC) 5 Tevita Naqali 6 Collin Grosse 7 Lautaro Bavaro 8 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (C) 9 Danny Tusitala 10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla 11 Junior Sa’u 12 Fermín Martínez 13 Thretton Palamo 14 Mike Dabulas 15 Kurt Baker 16 Facundo Gattas 17 Quentin Newcomber 18 Cali Martinez 19 Fintan Coleman 20 Alejo Daireaux 21 Gradyn Bowd 22 Marcos Young 23 John Rizzo
Chicago Hounds: 1 George Thornton 2 Lindsey Stevens 3 Charlie Abel 4 Duke Krishnan 5 Luke White 6 Luke Beauchamp (VC) 7 Maclean Jones 8 Michael De Waal 9 Michael Baska 10 Luke Carty 11 Caleb Strum 12 Bryce Campbell (C) 13 Mark O’Keeffe14 JP Eloff 15 Chris Mattina 16 Hugh Roach 17 LaRome White 18 Paddy Ryan 19 Mike Matarazzo 20 Sam Peri 21 Dacoda Worth 22 Sean Yacoubian 23 Kevin Morgan