PRESEASON OFFICIALLY OPENS UP FOR RUGBY UNITED NEW YORK
by Andrew Newman
NEW YORK, NY- This past weekend, Rugby United New York’s 2020 preseason camp officially opened ahead of the upcoming Major League Rugby season. Over 30 members of the squad assembled Friday night for the start of their first official weekend together. With just over a month until their second season in Major League Rugby begins, time is of the essence.
“We have very little time to prepare for our first game,” Head Coach Greg McWilliams put bluntly. “We are trying to maximize the time together.”
Friday night, the team went through an introductory meeting that covered procedures and expectations for the year ahead. They were introduced to the full coaching staff and medical team. The night continued with a tour of the new RUNY training facilities, a vast upgrade from last season’s conditions.
“This is a great spot. Everything we need is right on our door step,” McWilliams told us. “It is great for us, because we have lots to do in only a month. We need to be careful though, we need to get the balance right. Too much work would be a negative for the athletes.”
The team arrived early Saturday afternoon for a full day of work that included a gym session, skills and collision work, as well as a field session later in the evening. For athletes such as Will Leonard, Mark O’Keeffe, and Paddy Ryan, it was their first practice of the 2020 season.
“It feels great to be back in New York and with the team,” O’Keeffe said. “The new coaching staff and the training facilities really makes it exciting.”
The excitement was palpable from the rest of the squad as well. However, McWilliams understands that while the excitement is necessary, it is not any different than the other teams around Major League Rugby.
“The new coaches, the new kit, the new facilities- it is all exciting, but it’s the same for every club at this stage of the season,” he stated. “The real test will be in the middle of March, when we are five games into the season, and we know that. We look forward to that.”
It is easy to look ahead to February, when RUNY opens up their campaign in Las Vegas against the New England Free Jacks, an expansion franchise that joins the Roosters in the Eastern Conference. However, McWilliams knows there is a lot of work to be done before that clash, and he is taking it session by session.
“The players just want to get on with it now,” he continued. “We are just trying to get organized and bring a good energy to every session.”
Rooster Booster Memberships- ON SALE NOW
Rugby United New York is now selling Rooster Booster Memberships prior to the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The Rooster Booster Membership includes a season ticket, as well as exclusive perks and events only our Fan Club members can attend. Purchase your Membership HERE to see all 7 matches down at MCU Park, attend post-match parties with both teams, and enter an all exclusive 2 day trip to Las Vegas for the first annual MLR Vegas Weekend.
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