Atlanta, Georgia – Following the success of last month’s inaugural Major League Rugby draft, the snake pit here at Rugby ATL has just grown a little larger, with the arrival of our first two picks, Michael Matarazzo and John Scotti. Each player drove down last weekend, in order to be checked out by the athletic training staff and begin participating in organized team activities. Last Monday, our two newest young men found themselves making a series of introductions; to the coaches and staff, to the facility through a tour, and to their baselines with the club, through physical screenings to assess their mobility and mechanics. After their official check-in, the men completed their first workout in the gym, setting a standard for the work that they hope to put in for this franchise.
Last Tuesday, both picks found themselves at Life University, the home ground of Rugby ATL, to bear witness to the pace of a high-intensity training session that involved both skills drills and competitive games. John Scotti’s working through a hamstring injury and could not participate, though Michael Matarazzo did. After a check-in with the Athletic Training Staff to verify that every participant had an acceptable temperature, Matarazzo and the rest of Rugby ATL’s Wider Training Group were put through a ninety-minute session that involved intervals of training the skills of their pass and catch, along with impassioned touch rugby matches, to foster the competitive spirit of the group.
The remainder of the week mirrored how the picks first week in their new home had begun, with days split between sessions of lifting weights in the gym or practicing skills on the field, coupled with all of the recovery and rehabilitation necessary to establish a good baseline of work for the upcoming season.
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