Roster Update: Former All-Americans Sign for 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK (January 24, 2020) – Rugby United New York announced additional roster updates late Friday evening. Prop Jonas Petrakopoulos, a former High School All American, earned his first professional contract by signing with the New York City franchise. The coaching staff also promoted former Collegiate All American prop Alec McDonnell off the practice squad. The two rookies join Will Burke and Kirk Hamilton as recent front row additions.
McDonnell, out of Lindenwood University, signed to the practice squad prior to preseason training camp. He impressed the coaching staff early in camp and was retained post holiday break. After continuing to show improvement, McDonnell earned promotion off of the practice squad earlier this week. The 23-year-old primarily plays loose-head, but has experience playing both hooker and tight-head as well. McDonnell joins RUNY athletes Matt Wirken and JP Aguirre as former Lindenwood Lions turned Roosters.
Petrakopoulos, another versatile front rower, won three High School National Championships with Indiana powerhouse Royal Irish. In 2019, he split time between the Greerton Marist Rugby club and Ngawha, the Bay of Plenty Development Side. Petrakopoulos, a dual citizen, represented both the Netherlands and the United States in their age grade programs. The 21-year-old is the youngest Rooster to earn a Major League Rugby contract.
RUNY fans can expect incumbents James Rochford, Anthony Parry, and Paddy Ryan to play big roles throughout the MLR season. However, now there is a healthy mix of veteran leadership and motivated young athletes throughout the position group. Kirk Hamilton, Brian McKellar, Will Burke, Alec McDonnell, and Jonas Petrakopoulos round out the props heading into the 2020 Major League Rugby season.
*Yes, we now have an Alex MacDonald and an Alec McDonnell. Good luck, MLR commentary teams*
About Rugby United New York
Rugby United New York is a professional rugby team who joined Major League Rugby as an associate member in 2018, playing a brief, but successful exhibition season. Their first full MLR schedule took place in 2019. RUNY’s vision is to bring the excitement of professional rugby to the New York sports landscape. The use of rugby’s core values of inclusion, teamwork, respect, and discipline will help to educate, inspire and connect with the New York Community. Rugby United New York, the city’s first professional rugby franchise, strives to unite the entire rugby community and enrich it at every level throughout the region. The team was founded by James Kennedy of the Murphy Kennedy Group, who is an active supporter of grassroots rugby.
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