Austin, Chicago, Dallas, and Metropolis face-off in Premiership Competition
“Last year’s inaugural Gold Cup provided high performance opportunities for elite level clubs in the Midwest and Red River CRs,” said USA Rugby Club Department Manager Erik Geib. “We’re excited to build upon last year’s premiership-level competition with some of the country’s best Division I clubs.”
The 2016 Gold Champion, and USA Rugby Division 1 National Championship Runner-up, Austin Blacks Rugby will be joined by:
- 2016 Red River CR Champion: Dallas Rugby Football Club (the Reds)
- 2016 Midwest CR Champion: Metropolis Rugby Football Club
- 2016 Midwest CR Runner-Up: Chicago Griffins
The inter-CR rounds for the Midwest were completed this past fall with Chicago and Metropolis splitting their two meetings. Meanwhile in Red River this past weekend, the Dallas Reds defeated the Austin Blacks, 63-35, in Dallas. The clubs will meet again on April 29, 2017, in Austin.
March 3, 2017, at Austin Blacks Rugby:
- 6:30 pm: Austin Blacks vs. Chicago Griffins
- 8:00 pm: Dallas Reds vs. Metropolis
March 5, 2017, at Austin Blacks Rugby:
- 11:00 am: Dallas Reds vs. Chicago Griffins
- 12:30 pm: Austin Blacks vs. Metropolis
March 31, 2017, at Metropolis
- 6:30 pm: Chicago Griffins vs. Austin Blacks
- 8:00 pm: Metropolis vs. Dallas Reds
April 2, 2017, at Metropolis
- 11:00 am: Chicago Griffins vs. Dallas Reds
- 12:30 pm: Metropolis vs. Austin Blacks
GOLD CUP PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
The following information was submitted by respective club representatives:
Austin Blacks | Knute O'Donnell
Known as- knoodles
Position: Scrum Half/ Hype Man
Career highlights: 3x Midwest Champion/National finalist for Penn Rugby, 3 Year starter for Davenport University, D1AA National Champion (2012), Austin Blacks Rookie of the Year (2016)
Hometown: Osceola, Indiana
Austin Blacks | Matthew Radzavich
Known as- The Rad
Career highlights: Starting in a National Championship, playing in Tobago with Atlantis, playing against the Fijian National Team in a friendly scrimmage in Las Vegas
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Austin Blacks | Siaosi Finau
Known as- Sea Biscuit
Position: Front Row
Highlight: meeting people from around the world with different backgrounds, creating friendships, and later on turning those friendships into brotherhood. Truly blessed
Hometown: Euless, Texas
Chicago Griffins | Eric Jacobson
Position: 2nd Row
Career highlights: One of the best 2nd rows in the league. Excellent lineout and ball handling skills. Captain.
Hometown: Lockport, Illinois
Chicago Griffins | Scott Petersen
Career highlights: Strong running center and solid defender.
Hometown: Northville, Michigan
Chicago Griffins | John Luhrsen
Career highlights: Powerful and very fit. He has a high work rate and is always a threat when
carrying the ball.
Hometown: Wheaton, Illinois
Dallas Reds | Jonny “Big Red” Heron Position: Lock
Career highlights: Jonny has had an extensive playing career in his home country of Ireland, as well as in New Zealand, France, Canada and the United States. An exceptional lock, he is as good a 7s player as he is at 15s. Jonny’s individual accomplishments include being selected as the 2016 Dallas RFC D1 Forward of the Year, to the 2014 & 2015 Texas Select Sides, the 2011 ITM Cup Under 21s training squad, the 2009 Belfast Harlequins RFC Player of the Year, the 2008 Queens University Belfast RFC Rookie of the Year, and the Ulster Schools Provincial Select Sides in 2007, 2008 & 2009.
Hometown: Belfast, Ireland
Dallas Reds | Peter Santos
Height: 5’ 9”
Career highlights: Pete is a talented young scrumhalf with a laser pass in both directions. He is also handy at fly half. In 2012, Pete played in the Collegiate Rugby Championships with University of Oklahoma. In 2014, he was selected from the Dallas Harlequins RFC to play for the Texas Select Side, and in 2015, was again selected from the Dallas Reds to play on that select side. Pete helped the Reds to a Division 1 semifinal appearance in 2015, and a quarterfinal appearance in 2016.
Hometown: Barrigada, Guam
Dallas Reds | Collin “Boogie” Yerian
Height: 5’ 10”
Career highlights: Boogie is a lifelong member of the Reds, having joined the Club shortly after graduating from high school. During his 6 years with the Reds, he has evolved into a punishing tackler and runner, rarely going down at first contact. Collin has assisted the Club in making six straight Division 1 playoff appearances, including two Semifinals (2014 & 2015), and a Quarterfinal (2016).
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Metropolis Rugby | Zach Haley
Career highlights: A high school All American as well as a USA U/20's representative. He is known for his high work rate and strong ball carrying. He is in his 1st season with Metropolis after joining them and starting in the D1 team right out of high school.
Hometown: Hopkins, Minnesota
Metropolis Rugby | Teli Veamatahau
Career highlights: A high school All American, USA U/20's as well as a Senior USA Selects representative. He is known for his line out jumping, smart ball playing and strong defense. Although only young he is a leader on the team and someone all club members respect highly.
Hometown: Nuku`alofa, Tonga
Metropolis Rugby | Melvin Desouza
Career highlights: A very fast and powerful ball running wing. In his 1st season with Metropolis he leads the team in tries with 15 in 11 games.
A player with huge potential to play representative rugby one day in the near future.
Hometown: Accra, Ghana