RUNY ADD VETERAN MATT WIRKEN TO THEIR SQUAD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York (February 12th 2019) – With the Blue and Orange looking to make a big splash in their first ever MLR season, they took a step in the right direction by adding second rower Matt Wirken to the squad. Wirken, who played with the NOLA Gold last year, will add much needed depth and experience to the RUNY forward pack having experienced the level of play required to make an impact in the MLR.
“I had an amazing time in NOLA, elevating my play surrounded by a group of amazing guys,” the 6’7” 250 pound Second Row said of his last season with the Gold. “I learned a lot and really stepped my game up to a whole new level. It was an amazing experience getting used to the pro level of play and I’m fully ready to get at it again with RUNY.”
Wirken is a proud example of the good ‘ol American heartland. Hailing from Kansas City Missouri, it was in his hometown that Wirken started playing his rugby in his senior year of high school. Putting it down to the fact he was surrounded by family who were playing and madly in love with the sport, Wirken quit lacrosse and committed fully to his new found passion. Joining local club the ‘Kansas City Blues,’ Wirken proved a natural for the sport. Due to his work ethic and willingness to throw himself in to all physical aspects of the game, Wirken was asked to join the Heart of America Select Side in his first two years playing.
By the end of his time with the KC Blues he had been named captain, leading by example as the clubs MVP and Forward of the Year in 2017. Now with 9 years of rugby experience under his belt, Wirken was officially signed to the NOLA Gold in the Spring of 2018 where he had a stellar season, being named to the MLR ‘First XV of the Week’ for week 5 of the competition.
After a big season Wirken moved to NYC and joined up with NYAC one of the Big Apple’s premiere club sides last Fall before being signed to RUNY for the upcoming season. Wirken’s locker room impact, gritty work ethic and MLR experience make him a big signing for RUNY who are pumped to have him in the squad. Welcome to the ‘Jungle’ Matt Wirken.
Rugby United New York will continue their 2019 Major League Rugby season with the ‘Battle in the Bayou’ against Wirken’s old club the NOLA Gold. Undefeated this season, February 16th at 3 PM EST will prove a huge test for the Roosters. The game will be available LIVE on both SNY and ESPN+ with our watch party occurring at the Pig ‘n Whistle so be sure to tune in.
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 will take place in 2019. When they officially join the league, 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 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.
MLR is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. For more information, visit usmlr.com.
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