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One of Major League Rugby's three new teams, Old Glory D.C., has announced to the public its initial 36-man squad for the upcoming season.
The squad features, notably, reigning World Cup champion and Springbok legend Tendai "The Beast" Mtawarira in the front row.
Aside from his immense abilities as a player, The Beast will also serve as a mentor and role model for the fellow forwards to learn and develop under.
22-year-old Kiwi-American Gordon Fullerton, 21-year-old former Gonzaga High Schooler Daniel Lopresti, 2019 Cal graduate Jack Iscaro, ex-Sabercat Jake Turnbull, 20-year-old Penn High School product Will Vakalahi, and 2018 Notre Dame College graduate Khalid Williams join Mtawarira in the front row.
Towering 6'7 South African lock Dylan Pieterse joins the team from the Austin Elite, and will be joined by 18-cap Fiji lock and 2019 MLR champion with Seattle Api Naikatini, as well as fellow Fijian Tevita Naqali from the Fijian Drua.
The back row features Maryland native and Rocky Gorge standout Josh Brown, former University of North Carolina wrestler and rugby convert Cory Daniel, ex-RUNY flanker Matt Hughston, Canada lock Travis Larsen, former Edinburgh and Chicago Lion back-rower Mungo Mason, 2019 Penn State graduate Jack Mclean, 2019 Cal graduate and standout Nic Mirashem, and 28-year-old University of Indiana grad Dacoda Worth.
Another Maryland and Rocky Gorge native Sean Hartig joins 2017 National Champion (with the Austin Huns) Michael Reid, and Samoa international Danny Tusitala as the halfbacks.
22-year-old Penn State graduate Mike Dabulas, former Mt. St. Mary's player and now assistant coach Tyler Myles, and top-flight New Zealander Jason Robertson are the three listed flyhalves.
2019 Austin Elite center Doug Fraser and fellow Canadian Ciaran Hearn of the London Irish team up with USA Eagle Thretton Palamo in the centers.
Walking into preseason ?✊? /// pic.twitter.com/D13O7ZZlHF— Ryan Burroughs (@Burroughs_21) November 24, 2019
The back three is comprised of rugby league convert Ryan Burroughs, former Kutztown flyer Vetekina Malafu, New Zealand 7s and Super Rugby winger Declan O'Donnell, Northland burner Renata Roberts-Tenana, and former Glendale Raptors fullback Dylan Taikato-Simpson.
Old Glory will get their professional livelihood underway this weekend with a scrimmage against the US Naval Academy, before embarking on their first MLR adventure.