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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Breaking Down The PRO Rugby Rosters: Denver

We've already looked at the PRO Rugby roster in Ohio, San Diego, and San Francisco, and now we turn our attention to Denver. One of the major things that stands out on Denver's roster is depth. Drawing upon top players from top clubs not only in Colorado but throughout the Midwest Denver has assembled a team that is going to give head coach Sean O'Leary a lot of options.

One area in which Denver has already made a splash is international signings. Former Springbok Pedrie Wannenburg brings a lot of experience and accountability to the rest of the team. From his Number 8 position he's in the right spot to lead the team. Timana Tahu is the other big name international on the team. He's been out of rugby for the last year but if he can bring the same bite he gave rugby in Australia he'll make a great player in the centers.

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Staying in the centers, the position is arguably the strongest on the team. Chad London was fantastic during the Americas Rugby Championship and has been playing great rugby. He'll either pair with Tahu, Michael Garrity, who earned his first cap during the ARC, or Michael Al-Jiboori. It's Al-Jiboori who is the hottest at the moment as he's tearing up the PRP with the Barbarians.

Outside the centers but still in the backs the roster is a work in progress. Al-Jiboori and Garrity could play on the wing if needed. Dustin Croy from Glendale is the only fullback. Look for the team to bring in more local players to help round out the roster. Maybe a Kevon Williams or a Dewon Reed?

In the halfbacks the team will have Eagles scrumhalf Niku Kruger manning the show. Denver's Bobby Impson will also help provide some cover. Although he's not on the roster we'd love to see Mose Timoteo get a crack. The fly-halfs are Will Magie and Ata Malifa. Magie is a former U-20 captain who has experience in the RFU Championship.

As strong as the team is in the centers their powerhouse is up front in the forwards where they have a lot of depth. Joining Wanneburg in the back row is is Zac Pauga and Hanco Germishuys. Look for Germishuys to have a huge season if he's not with the Junior All-Americans. After bouncing around a few places for experience this will be Germishuys's first chance to shine in the spotlight and we think he takes it.

Also up front the team has Ben Landry and Casey Rock in the locks. Landry had a strong ARC and should see that continue. Up front the team has Zach Fenoglio as the hooker and then a stable of props with Brendan Rams, Chris Baumann, Soane Leger, Ben Tarr, Jake Turnbull, and Luke White. If Rams shows as expected the front-three of Rams, Baumann, and Fenoglio is going to be one of the best in the league.

Like the rest of the league the team needs to add a few players. Look for more internationals to be joining the team as well as supplemental players from clubs like Glendale and Denver.

Forwards: Ben Landry, Zach Fenoglio, Brendan Rams, Jake Turnbull, Hanco Germishuys, Chris Baumann, Ben Tarr, Pedrie Wannenburg, Soane Leger, Luke White, Casey Rock, Zac Pauga

Backs: Chad London, Niku Kruger, Gannon Moore, Bobby Impson, Ata Malifa, Mike Garrity, Dustin Croy, Will Magie, Michael Al-Jiboori, Justin Pauga

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