Atlanta, Georgia- On June 7th, 2020, Rugby ATL released our sixth episode of The RATL Roundup, our weekly series live-streamed to share some of the people behind our organization with our viewers.

This week, our episode featured players Marno Redelinghuys and Ross Deacon, two of our talented forwards here at Rugby ATL, to showcase their unique backgrounds as rugby players and their well-roundedness as men. 

As this weeks live stream got underway both Redelinghuys and Deacon offered our fans their insight into how they’d made it this far; for Marno it came after a lifetime of rugby that took him from youth rugby into the Varsity Cup at the university level before playing for The Stormers professional rugby team in Cape Town. Ross, who was fortunate enough to be born in San Francisco, California, played for the illustrious Kilkenny College as well as Leinster schools teams before being selected to the 2013 USA Under 20’s team for the World Junior Championship and inevitably being a journeyman of the MLR, having played for Rugby United New York, The Austin Elite, and now Rugby ATL.

Neither of the two men had an easy road to take to get to where they are today, as both talked openly about their battles with the game. Around the age of twelve, Ross said that he wasn’t loving his rugby. He thought that he would fare better in the game of soccer, but his mom adamantly kept him interested enough to not quit the sport entirely. For Marno, after a knee injury before university, he was also debating leaving the game to focus on his studies, but an old coach from his past kept pushing him to rehab, pushing him to play again, pushing him to develop through the adversity of his injury.

Now, both men have played their part in Atlanta’s first professional rugby team, and both are enrolled in the Doctor of Chiropractic program at Life University, though arriving here in the 404 under different circumstances. Ross was set on continuing school at Life, with the opportunity of playing for Rugby ATL simultaneously being too good to pass up on. Marno entered the Rugby ATL roster as a player first, and eagerly accepted the opportunity to continue his education when the chance arose.

To wrap up their time in our RATL Roundup, both men shared their artistic capabilities as well, with both musicians bringing their guitars, to share a song with those of us lucky enough to bear witness.

If you want to hear more from our players and listen to the music shared during our video, you can find information about their feats and foundations through our YouTube page; and to hear more about our organization, follow us online @rugbyatl.rugby, on Facebook as Rugby ATL, on Instagram @rugbyatl, and be sure to look out for our next RATL Roundup.