Friday, January 20, 2017

Afternoon Notes: PRO Trio To Huns, Refs For ARC, New PSU Coach

PRO Rugby Trio Signs With Huns

Three players with PRO Rugby experience--capped Eagle Hanco Germishuys, Martin Knoetze, and Michael Reid--have signed up to play for the Austin Huns in their upcoming season. Germishuys is the most notable name having made his way through the U.S. youth ranks. He had a great year with the Denver Stampede last year scoring a half a dozen tries and generally making a name for himself as a young player. Knoetze also made a mark in the competition playing for the champions Stampede. His try against San Diego made it on to ESPN. Both Germishusy and Knoetze have played with the Glendale Raptors in the past which should set up for them in the MRC. Reid played for the San Francisco Rush. For the Huns this is the latest move toward having a fully professional roster.

Referees Named For Americas Rugby Championship

The Eagles have learned the referees for their upcoming  Americas Rugby Championship matches. Canadian Chris Assmuss, who the Eagles will be fairly familiar with, will take charge of their first match against Uruguay. Next Pablo Deluca will referee their match against Brazil. Another Argentine, Damian Schneider, will referee the big match between Canada and the U.S. in Vancouver. Brazilian Richard Sant'Anna will work their match against Chile and Joaquin Montes from Uruguay will do the Argentina XV match to finish out the tournament.

Take the jump to read more.

American referees Derek Summers and Kurt Weaver will also be involved. Weaver will referee three total matches, including the Canada vs. Argentina match, while Summers will referee two matches.

U.S.A. vs. Uruguay: Chris Assmuss (Canada)
U.S.A. vs. Brazil: Pablo Deluca (Argentina)
Canada vs. U.S.A.: Damian Schneider (Argentina)
Chile vs. U.S.A.: Richard Sant'Anna (Brazil)
Argentina vs. U.S.A.: Joaquin Montes (Uruguay)

Derek Summers: Uruguay vs. Canada, Canada vs. Chile
Kurt Weaver: Uruguay vs. Chile, Argentina vs. Uruguay, Canada vs. Argentina

Willocks Named Penn State Coach

Penn State have named former Dartmouth assistant coach James Willocks as the new head coach of their men's team. Willocks takes over from Blake Burdette who left the program recently. Willoacks is also an assistant on the Men's College All-Americans. Below is the release from Penn Sate.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 20, 2017 – Penn State has selected James Willocks as head coach of the men’s rugby program. He will begin his duties on February 1.

Willocks comes to Penn State after serving the past four years at Dartmouth College, where he was assistant coach and the team’s strength and conditioning coach. He also served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Big Green football program the past three years.

A native of Balclutha, on the South Island of New Zealand, Willocks helped the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club win four Ivy League XV and 7s Championships, become a Div. I-AA finalist and the U.S. Rugby 7s bowl champions.

“James Willocks has demonstrated a high level of passion for, and understanding of, the values of Penn State and the student-athlete experience,” said Assistant Athletic Director Michael Cross, who oversees the men’s and women’s rugby club programs. “His energy, enthusiasm for recruiting, core values, relationship building skills and technical knowledge of rugby will be extremely beneficial to Penn State Rugby’s dedicated students and give the team an opportunity to achieve at the highest levels.  I look forward to working with him to fully implement his vision for the program and welcome him and his family to State College.”

“I would like to express my gratitude to Michael Cross, Sandy Barbour, Phil Esten and the entire search committee for this opportunity,” Willocks said. “Thank you to all those involved, past and present, with Penn State Rugby who have contributed to the program and helped develop it into one of the nation’s leading rugby programs. Penn State is a world class institution that excels in academics and athletics, my family and I are very honored and extremely excited to accept the position and lead the men’s rugby program.

“I also want to thank Alex Magleby, Gavin Hickie and Buddy Teevens for the opportunities that I have been provided during my time at Dartmouth and for the opportunity to learn from and work with people of such great character.”

A graduate of New Zealand’s University of Otago, Willocks earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in exercise & sports science and exercise prescription. He has served as an intern for the Otago ITM Cup rugby team in New Zealand, where he also played Premier Level rugby for the Alhambra Union Rugby Club.

Willocks serves as an assistant coach with USA Rugby’s Men’s Collegiate All American team, and will tour Australia with the squad this August. He previously served as a strength and conditioning and skills coach with the squad.


  1. Do you know why Burdette left?

  2. It does mean that Pro Rugby is really over

  3. When I read about the financial troubles of USA Rugby, I am just desperate about the way they ran the Pro Rugby issue. They might be maybe as well clever as the Canadian colleagues which now RL outfits arrive in Toronto and pretty soon in Montreal...