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Colton Strickler

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Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. I was in Seattle this weekend for what has turned into an annual trip for me. I always make sure to catch a Seattle Seawolves match when I am in town. My first trip to Starfire Sports Complex came when I was on assignment for Major League Rugby over Easter weekend in 2019. The Seawolves were in the middle of their title defense, and they would have their hands full in a primetime game on Easter Sunday with a NOLA Gold team that barely missed the playoffs that season. That was my first taste of Starfire.…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Major League Rugby’s fifth season is in full swing. The halfway point is right around the corner, and it’s exciting as ever. If you look back to the Round 2 Grab Bag, I thought the MLR did a good job when it came to scheduling around the Super Bowl. I wrote that I thought the league could’ve done a better job ensuring that the players receive adequate amounts of rest, but overall I thought it was smart to spread the matches out across the weekend to ensure that they weren’t competing with the Super Bowl. Now…

Line Latu is grateful to be alive. If things had gone a little differently on the morning of June 6, 2021, the American Raptors fly-half knows that might not have been the case. A few weeks prior on May 22, The Colorado XOs – Glendale’s newly formed crossover academy – had just wrapped up their inaugural season with a match against the Los Angeles Giltinis Academy side. Latu, who was one of the only members of the XOs with prior rugby experience, was an integral piece of the team. He scored five tries in 10 matches to help the XOs secure a 5-5 record that spring, and played particularly well in the 33-31 loss to the Giltinis Academy on that…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about the start of the American Raptors’ season, their newly announced match in Canada, and All of the Rugby You Can Watch this weekend presented by Wintergreen (0:00-6:35). Following “The Breakdown”, Colton chats with American Raptors forward Tre Smalls about how he’s enjoyed rugby so far, how he’s feeling about the 2022 season, and some Raptors he’s excited to see play this year. (6:35-24:15). After the interview presented by GuardLab, Colton looks at a topical Stat of the Week presented by Catapult, assigns some “Required Reading”, and closes the show with “The Loop” presented by First Bank (24:16-30:23). Tre Smalls is entering his third season playing rugby for…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. I saw an interesting piece on Amanda Windsor White, president of Rugby ATL, in Front Office Sports on Monday. Here are some interesting bullet points from the article: The league has collectively attracted over $100 million in investments, according to White. The annual average cost of operating a franchise is between $4 million and $6 million. Some of the 13 teams have already broken even. The expansion fee for a new team is $10 million. It’s cool to see this information out there. This is the stuff that fans have been wanting to get their hands on for a while but…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about the American Raptors’ schedule, The Collegiate Rugby Shield, and All of the Rugby You Can Watch this weekend presented by Wintergreen (0:00-11:31). Following “The Breakdown”, Colton talks with author Adam Hughes about the work he’s put into his upcoming book entitled ‘This is Rugby’. (11:32-46:29). After the interview presented by GuardLab, Colton gives a helpful tip in the Stat of the Week category presented by Catapult, assigns some “Required Reading”, and closes the show with “The Loop” presented by First Bank (46:30-50:22). Adam Hughes is the author of four full-length poetry collections, with a fifth forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2023. In 2020, he received his MFA…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. The scenes in Hoboken, New Jersey looked incredible on Sunday afternoon. Rugby New York hosted the New England Free Jacks in what was their first home match of the season and their first match at JFK Stadium. The weather looked lovely, the match was exciting, and the fans in the stands were electric. What I enjoyed seeing most was the people turning their attention away from their tennis match or from their Sunday afternoon chores in their apartment and towards the rugby match. That’s the benefit of playing your matches in a high school football stadium…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about the American Raptors’ presence at the National Scouting Combine, some MLR news, and All of the Rugby You Can Watch this weekend presented by Wintergreen (0:00-9:47). Following “The Breakdown”, Colton talks with Rugby World features editor Alan Dymock about his piece on the American Raptors, rugby players making the switch to professional wrestling, and why more rugby players haven’t stuck around in the NFL. (9:48-1:02:39). After the interview presented by GuardLab, Colton unveils a brand new Stat of the Week category presented by Catapult, assigns some “Required Reading”, and closes the show with some programming notes in “The Loop” presented by First Bank (1:02:40-1:08:19). Alan Dymock is…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. The month of the season is done and dusted and there have been quite a few surprises early on. I never would’ve guessed that the Warriors would be winless at this point in time. I also didn’t think that the Austin Gilgronis would be the only undefeated team in the Western Conference. That’s one thing I like about MLR. The results of each week are always a mystery. My Superbru record is the perfect indication of that. As with any sport, it’s not necessarily about how you start but rather how you finish. As we get…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about the latest American Raptor to join the USA 7s program, some crossover news in the MLR, and All of the Rugby You Can Watch this weekend (0:00-9:01). Following “The Breakdown”, Colton answers some of your questions regarding the American Raptors spring schedule, which players he’s excited to watch in 2022, and which MLR teams have caught his eye through three rounds. (9:02-19:06). After the interview, Colton assigns some “Required Reading”, and closes the show with some programming notes in “The Loop” (19:07-22:29). Please send in any questions you have about the Colorado XOs, rugby in Colorado, Major League Rugby, or American rugby as a whole to @DNVR_Rugby and @coltonstrickler on Twitter…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Saturday is a rugby day for every other team in the country not named the Seattle Seawolves. Sundays are for the Seawolves. Did you know that in the 52 regular and post-season matches that the Seawolves have played since the club was born in 2018, 30 of those matches have taken place on Sunday? When the 2022 regular season is all said and done Seattle will have played four more matches on Sundays. Had the 2020 season not been canceled, they’d have been able to add seven more to that total. I’ve wondered out loud on…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about another American Raptor on the move, some USA Rugby news, MLR’s disciplinary wire, and All of the Rugby You Can Watch this weekend (0:00-9:41). Following “The Breakdown”, Colton talks with American Raptors forward Chase Stehling about how rugby has helped him lose over 60 pounds, his offer from Rugby New York, and a few Raptors he’s excited about in 2022. (9:43-36:14). After the interview, Colton gives everyone a break from “Required Reading”, and closes the show by previewing a few projects with “The Loop” (36:15-38:10). Chase Stehling played on the offensive line at Western Carolina University before joining the American Raptors and giving rugby a try. Few…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Major League Rugby had the right idea when it came to scheduling its Round 2 fixtures. With the NFL adding another regular season game to its schedule, that means that the Super Bowl is going to take place later in February than usual. That also means that MLR has to find a way to make its schedule work around these changes. The solution this year was to play one match on Thursday night, one on Friday night, and four throughout the day on Saturday in order to leave Super Bowl Sunday wide open. As a fan,…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about some American Raptors to keep an eye on in Round 2 of the 2022 Major League Rugby season and All of the Rugby You Can Watch this weekend (0:00-8:39). After “The Breakdown”, Colton talks with Seattle Seawolves Marketing & Communications Director Carly MacKinnon about her rugby career, how she got involved with the Seawolves, and what it’s been like to be with Seattle from the beginning of MLR (8:41-55:27). After the interview, Colton assigns some “Required Reading”, and closes the show with “The Loop” (55:28-58:40). Carly MacKinnon is the marketing and communications director for the Seattle Seawolves. A long-time member of the Seattle Rugby Club as a…

Welcome to the Major League Rugby Grab Bag where I highlight some of the best things I’ve seen from around the league every week. Be honest. Did you watch the Pro Bowl this weekend? Why would you do that? Since we are being honest, I watched a quarter of the Pro Bowl too to kill some time before the opening weekend of Major League Rugby’s fifth season continued on Sunday afternoon. I saw the two-hand touch contest, threw a few bucks on the over, then I went to work in the garage until the Utah Warriors took on the San Diego Legion at 3 PM. I’m not unlike a majority of sports fans in the United States. I love football.…

Colton and Brendan start off the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about the fact that the American Raptors are back to the grindstone after and conclude the segment with All of the Rugby You Can Watch This Weekend. After “The Breakdown”, Colton and Brendan talk about everything that they will be watching for in the MLR this season, some players that they are excited to see, and some of the changes the league is rolling out ahead of 2022. After the chat, Colton assigns some “Required Reading”, and closes the show with “The Loop”. Brendan is one of the masterminds behind Rugby PickEm, a blog, and podcast dedicated to talking about and telling stories related to…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about some more American Raptors on the move, the World Rugby Sevens Series, and what is going on with Rugby ATL (0:00-10:50). After “The Breakdown”, Colton talks with new American Raptors head coach and friend of the program Paul Emerick about his new job, what he’s most excited about, and how he got his nickname ‘Cactus’ (10:52-21:53). After the interview, Colton assigns some “Required Reading”, and closes the show with “The Loop” (21:55-25:01). Paul Emerick takes over the reins as the new head coach of the American Raptors after a four-year stint in Houston as the skills and defense coach with the Houston SaberCats.  During his nine-year international…

Colton starts the show with “The Breakdown” presented by O’Neills by talking about some big changes regarding the American Raptors, some news out of the World Rugby Sevens Series, and Major League Rugby news as the 2022 season approaches (0:00-14:14). Following “The Breakdown”, Colton chats with USA Rugby sevens player and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Stephen Tomasin about his rugby career, the Olympics, and some video game characters that would make good sevens rugby players (14:16-47:19). Following the interview, Colton assigns some of his own work as this week’s “Required Reading”, and closes the show with “The Loop” to celebrate DNVR Rugby’s second birthday! (47:21-57:10). Stephen Tomasin got his start playing rugby in high school. The former football and baseball player…

It’s not hard to spot the similarities between rugby and football. The basic principles of both sports are very similar. Both rugby and football are games based on gaining territory and keeping possession of the ball to ultimately score more points than the opponent. The methods of moving the ball down the field and transferring possession – running, passing, and kicking – occur in different ways in both sports. The formulas to victory may differ, but it’s based on those same core principles. One of the glaring differences is that forward passes are illegal in rugby. But they’re also illegal in football once a team has crossed the line of scrimmage, another forward pass has already been thrown, or the…

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