RugbyATL and Marietta City Schools Drive Leadership Development Through Sport

RugbyATL and Marietta City Schools Drive Leadership Development Through Sport

RugbyATL’s After School Program Witnesses 72% increase in Participation


[Marietta, Georgia December 3rd, 2021]-  This fall semester, Rugby ATL and its partners took action to create opportunities for individual advancement and educational resources in our underserved communities. The plan was to execute a student enrichment program that focused on value-based, team interactives and infuse it into five different after school programs across the Marietta City School District. 


The mission was to create an inclusive, and friendly environment led by consistent role models from outside of the students homes and classrooms. The primary goal was to ensure that all of the students were given another opportunity to develop healthy relationships with their peers, while also benefiting from the physical and physiological effects of participating in team sports.


“We want to help develop people, and create leaders in the community. Teams can create a sense of unity amongst peers, and we hope the students can learn the game while applying the PACE core-values (People Development, Accountability, Create Change, Execution) into their daily lives,” said Rugby ATL Academy Director, Neethling Gericke.


Participants were led by a coaching staff led by players from Major League Rugby, the USA Women’s National Team, and Professional Women’s 7s Rugby. Students had the unique opportunity of learning positive leadership qualities and rugby skills from some of the best players in the country. The fun, exciting and welcoming environment that resulted from this, was an added bonus for everyone involved.


“Having MLR work with our Marietta Community School’s afterschool students has been an excellent addition to our ASP program. It allows students to engage in physical activity in a safe and fun environment while teaching them sportsmanship and leadership. We look forward to continuing this partnership into the spring semester,” said Delores Wiley ASP/BSP and Camp Program Coordinator for Marietta City Schools.


After just ten weeks of programming, over 250 students from Mission 1:27, Lockheed, AL Burruss, and Dunleith Elementary Schools worked together to demonstrate how the PACE values can help you become a good leader and teammate, but also how much fun playing a new sport with your friends can be.


In fact, there was an overall 72% increase in participation, including back-to-back weeks where Dunleith Elementary recorded weekly highs of 70+ students in the session.   


Rugby ATL along with program partners, SA White Oil Company, Spratlin & Son Construction, Walton Communities, and Fox Dogs, will be providing students with bookbags, notebooks and new athletic gear for their 2022 academic semesters and after school programs. 


“What we need most coming out of this pandemic are opportunities for kids in our community to step away from screens, connect with each other again and have some good, old-fashioned fun,” said Kim Gresh, President and CEO of SA White Oil Company. “Rugby ATL’s Mission 1:27 program has proven to be a great way for our kids to do just that by learning a new sport, as well as invaluable leadership and teamwork skills. As an alumna of the Marietta school system, I am so proud to sponsor this program and excited by its success and growth


Rugby ATL and its partners will double down on their support for the development of the community, with plans to  increase to 10+ after school programs next spring and summer. The 2022 programs will focus on coaching the fundamentals of rugby, but more importantly, on how the crucial elements of education, teamwork, leadership, and communication carry over into all other aspects of our lives. 


Rugby ATL entered Major League Rugby in 2018 and began to play and influence the community through their commitment to their PACE core values. (People Development, Accountability, Creating Change & Execution) 


Johan Momsen Named Major League Rugby Forward Of The Year

Johan Momsen Named
Major League Rugby Forward Of The Year
Johan Momsen played a vital part in Rugby ATL’s campaign to win the Eastern Conference Final and face LA in the MLR Championship Final. While Rugby ATL fell just short of bringing home the Championship Shield, Momsen’s efforts earned him the title of Forward of the Year for his impressive season.
Playing 1,168 minutes for Scott Lawrence’s Rugby ATL in 2021, the 25-year-old lock forward completed his second year in Georgia. Momsen made 17 appearances this season, scoring five tries along the way.
A hard hitter, Momsen carried the ball on 103 occasions, each one of those carries into contact, breaking 22 tackles in the process and making 513 meters. Off-the-charts statistics for a player in his position, the South African backed up his attacking flair with uncompromising defense.
Making 193 tackles, no one else on ATL’s roster put the shoulder in more. Seventeen of those tackles were dominant, with the opposition’s attack losing momentum as a result, and Momsen turned the ball over on five occasions.
Also influential at the lineout, he took the ball 83 times in the air in attack and stole the opposition’s ball on 11 occasions at the set-piece, which accounted for 53 percent of the team’s tries scored in 2021.
Such was the trust in Momsen, who played at No. 8. in the Championship Final because of his athleticism and ability to influence the game with his power.
Earlier this week Major League Rugby released the All-MLR team selections and the overall Player of the Year. Stay tuned for additional end of season awards to be released by MLR across the week.
About Major League Rugby
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fourth season on March 20, 2021 and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2021, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, among other national and local market platforms. Select matches are available to stream live in North America on The Rugby Network, and all matches are available on The Rugby Network for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit www.MajorLeague.Rugby, and download the MLR App on the App Store/Google Play.
Alicia Richardson, MLR | P: 425-679-1138, [email protected]
Elon Werner, Tony Fay PR | P: 214-244-1184, [email protected]

Eastern Conference Finals Tickets!


As an official season ticket holder of Rugby ATL, you’ve gained early access to the 2021 Eastern Conference Final tickets!


Be the first RATLER to secure your FREE playoff ticket by renewing your current season tickets for the MLR 2022 season along with the opportunity to purchase 2 additional tickets before they’re released to the general public.


New 2022 Season Ticket holders will have the opportunity to buy 2 playoff tickets.


48 Hour Schedule for Renewals & New Season Ticket Purchase:

  1. Current Season Ticket Holders: Tuesday & Wednesday by appointment (click form below)
  2. New Season Ticket Holders Thursday & Friday (appointment only)
  3. Individual playoff ticket sales open Saturday 12:00 PM.


To renew your season ticket and get your ticket, fill out the interest form by clicking the button below!


Season Tickets

Not a season ticket holder? 2022 Season Tickets are also available for purchase. Fill out the interest form! 

Playoff Tickets

Sections are going to sell out fast! Be the first fan to #RATL the Snake Pit in the Eastern Conference Finals! 

*Playoff Ticket Redemption is dependant on Rugby ATL securing home team status for the Conference FInal

Rugby ATL Aims to Clinch Playoff Berth


Rugby ATL Aims to Clinch Playoff Berth

Week 17 Major League Rugby Preview

Utah Warriors vs. Rugby ATL

Herriman, UT — Rugby ATL hits the road this weekend in search of clinching their first playoff berth against the surging Utah Warriors in a Week 17 matchup.

Saturday night’s match will feature the #1 seed in the East and the #2 seed in the West, who both control their own destiny on the road to the playoffs with two games to play. 

Coming off a bye week and a 32-12 win in Week 15 versus Old Glory DC,  Rugby ATL enters Saturday rested and focused. The team holds a 5 point lead in the table over both the number two (New York) and three (New Orleans) seeds in the Eastern Conference. 

“Traveling to Utah to play a tough, well coached outfit in the form of the Warriors is no easy task.  The environment will be an electric one to be a part of and we’re looking forward to experiencing it first hand. Discipline and execution will be the keys to the game,” said General Manager & Head Coach, Scott Lawrence.

Rugby ATL will also see Captain Ryan Nell return to the line-up, ending his long road to recovery. The savvy veteran has been leading from outside the white lines, but this weekend will strap up with the “C” on the number 13 jersey.

“I am really looking forward to getting on the pitch again with the team. It’s been special to be part of the growth of this group- now getting the chance to wear the jersey and take the field with them again is very exciting for me. The team has good momentum going at the moment and I look forward to contributing toward that. There’s a real sense of purpose and the guys work hard for each other.  It’s always special being part of that. I’m looking forward to the challenge against Utah on Saturday night,” said Captain, Ryan Nell.

Utah will enter Saturday’s game fresh off a bye backed by a 6 game win streak, but they will be six players short of their Week 15 roster as these players have been called up to their respective national teams for the World Rugby International summer test matches. Five of these players are rostered for our USA Eagles this weekend as they play Ireland in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium. Unquestionably, the entire Rugby ATL faithful will be fully behind them this weekend!

Rugby ATL’s secret to success all year has been execution and accountability to the game plan. They can not afford to look at the table or the Utah Roster.  MLR fans saw first hand last week from the Toronto Arrows how a group of contract hungry individuals, with nothing to lose, pulled off the upset over Old Glory (34-28).

A win this weekend earns Rugby ATL a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs.  New Orleans and New York will face each other in the last game of the season, a potential play-in game powder keg in Week 18.

Adding to the hype for the weekend, Major League Rugby and Rugby ATL have partnered with American Cancer Society and DASH Auction to raise funds for cancer research! ATL’s specialty designed, game-worn & signed jerseys will be auctioned “with profits to be donated to the American Cancer Society! Bid on the one-of-a-kind jerseys and support the cause, on DASH Auction!

Auction is live, make your bids now!

#MLR2021 | DASH Auction

#Ratlers… It’s Time To Eat



Date: July 10, 2021

Time: 8:00 PM MT

Where: Zion Bank Stadium- Herriman, UT

Broadcast: KSL Sports & The Rugby Network

Radio: ESPN 700 and ESPN 960

Reformation Smyrna Watch Party: 6255 Riverview Rd. Bldg. 4000, Suite 200 Smyrna, GA 30126

RUNY Rosters

Rugby ATL Falls Short in a Game Of Inches

Rugby ATL Falls Short in a Game Of Inches

June 13th, 2021

Queens, New York

The match that featured the top seeds in the Eastern Conference lived up to the hype and expectation. For 80 minutes, both teams traded heated blows, big linebreaks and showcased the resilience that placed  them atop the table. Ultimately, ATL fell inches short of execution in multiple key moments of the game, which was the difference on the road against the very talented Rugby United New York (31-24).

Scoring opened up early for RUNY as “The Butcher,” Dylan Fawsitt, hit a short, hard line through the middle of the defense and eventually put And Ellis in space for the easy seven under the sticks.

Jason Damm countered with a 12m run that beat one defender with a solid fend and dragged others into the tryzone with an outstretched arm to get ATL on the board 15 minutes in (7-5).

Exactly ten minutes later later on a Rugby ATL clearing kick touched grass, but took a favorable bounce allowing RUNY’s  Apines Cakaubalavu to step  two tacklers and offloaded to the streaking Kara Pryor who streamlined for the tryzone extending the lead (12-5)

In the time between the next change of score, Rugby ATL had its first of four different try scoring opportunities fall just inches short. The first was a spectacularly executed  play of a set piece that sent Marko Janse Van Rensburg on the near side straight into Andy Ellis who took the contact head-on, and held up the ball as he was driven back into the tryzone. 

In the 34th minute, Rugby United struck again and scored to extend their lead. Mark O’Keeffe won’t see them in the box score, but he charged down the attempted conversion, stealing 2 points away from Chris Mattina (17-5).

In the waning  minutes of the half, the Rugby ATL forwards went to work and triggered off each other to get the attack on the front foot with short lines and quick clean outs deep in RUNY territory.

Momo the Mountain” (Johan Momsen) was the first to score a multi-phase, team try, when he took a quick ball from Rees and forced his way into the try zone from 3 meters out. Carelse would convert and Rugby ATL would go into the sheds down 5 at the half (17-12).

Inside the locker room, Head Coach Scott Lawrence discussed the importance of complete execution down the stretch, especially against the talent inside the other locker room.

The Final Forty:

Six minutes into the second half, RUNY’s Connor McManus scored under the posts on another inside line in the middle of the field. 

ATL eventually found themselves in a set piece situation from 5m out. On a scoring lineout play, Van Rensburg peeled out of the maul and fended off two different shoulder shots as he pinballed toward the white line. Another two RUNY defenders met him and had just enough to force the ball to escape his grasp, literally inches from a try. 

The forwards reignited the momentum leading up to minute 60, after the key finishers entered the contest (Saulo Manasa, Jonas Petrakopoulos and Marno Redelinghuys). Their immediate contribution came as Batu Ezcurra capped off a 7+ phase try that saw the ball travel to each sideline. This time, the game of inches was in favor of A-town, as Batu took contact and outstretched from 3m out, retaining enough grip to add downward pressure with only 2 fingers (24-17).

RUNY would strike immediately after the commercial break when James Rochford intercepted Carelse and took it the rest of the way (31-17). This was a complete swing in the momentum and energy after it felt like ATL was getting coiled up and ready to strike.

Between minute 60 and 68, Rugby ATL would again be held up in the tryzone and an opportunity to have a set piece deep in attacking territory, would go by the wayside when a kick to touch was kept in play by leaping Benjamin Bonasso.

Even though the bounce of the ball wasn’t going their way, ATL’s no-quit mentality and commitment to the process had them knocking on the doorstep again at the 70 minute mark. 

After multiple phases and contests of battle of wills near the try zone, Alex Maughan saw a gap and made a split decision to pick-and-go rather than setting the ruck, slipping his way in for the try  that made it a one score game in the 70th minutes of play (31-24).

In the final 10, the line breaks got bigger, the shots got harder and the scrums got heavier. ATL had multiple possessions that came to a halt as the result of a knock ons, but they were in a position to score and tie the game near the 80th minute on the road against a RUNY team that’s playing the most well-rounded rugby across the MLR.

Though the 7 game win streak came to an end, the gutsy and brutally physical performance resulted with ATL stealing 2 Bonus points on the road in NY (4 tries scored & Loss <7 points). These two bonus points keep Rugby ATL on-top of the Eastern Conference going into their final two week homestand against the Houston Sabercats (2-10) and Old Glory DC.

After the match, the energy in the locker room was very positive, despite the result. The leadership recognized the lessons learned in giving a very talented team extra possessions and opportunities to score. This young team has matured immensely since March, and this week will likely be one of the biggest growth weeks yet.

Next up, are the Houston Sabercats, at home on June 19th. Get your tickets now and catch the #RATLERS return to the Snake Pit and the special halftime performance from the Atlanta Drumline Academy.

Scoring Summary

Rugby ATL

Jason Damm- 5 (12′)

Johan Momsen-5 (38′)

Batu Ezcurra-5 (60′)

Alex Maughan-5 (70′)

Adriaan Caresle-4 (Conversions: 2/4)

Rugby United New York: 

Andy Ellis- 7

Kara Pryor- 5

Kyle Sumsion- 5

James Rochford- 5

Connor McManus-7

Chris Mattina- 2 (1/2)

NEXT HOME GAME: June 19th @ 8:00PM

Rugby ATL vs Houston Sabercats

Presented by: Cumberland Diamond Exchange

Big Stakes in the Big Apple: Week 13 MLR Preview


Big Stakes in the Big Apple

Week 13 Major League Rugby Preview

Rugby United New York vs. Rugby ATL

The two teams at the top of the table in the Eastern Conference will battle tomorrow in the Fresh Meadows of Queensjust outside the shadows of the New York City Skyline.

These two teams met back in Week 4 when again, Rugby ATL was on top of the table.  Some faces will change as they take the pitch Sunday afternoon at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University. Relentless commitment to defense has been the driving force in the last seven victories for Rugby ATL.  Last week’s devastating defensive effort concluded the Rivalry Series sweep of NOLA Gold, including 15+ phases of heartfelt stops inside of their own 5m line.

The front row for Rugby ATL will stay consistent with the young props Chance Wenglewski and Wikus Groenewald being anchored down by the veteran Marko Janse Van Rensburg in the middle. Conor Keys, who was named to the Rugby Canada’s 40-man roster for the summer internationals, will get the nod for the first time this year alongside Johan Momsen in the second row.

The journeyman Connor “Cookie” Cook also makes his return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench last week, ending his rehab battle to get back into the active roster. 

The dynamic duo of Deacon and Damm have played tough hard-nosed American rugby, sharing time at the 8 position. This is the first time they’ll both be featured in the starting roster, and anyone who knows Rosco knows he fizzes for claiming that first tone-setting hit.

Ryan Rees will distribute directly to Adriaan Carelse, who has been increasingly more impactful as the weeks go on, especially in the kicking game. Te Rangatira Waitokia and Batu Ezcurra will take charge of the centers as they look to win their battle against the hard-carrying and very skillful RUNY centers, Fa’asiu Fuatai (NZ)  and Quinn Ngawati (CAN).

Mark O’Keeffe and the “The Missile” (Jeremy Misailegalu) had the Herculean highlights last week, not for flash, but for pinning their ears back and out-working their opponents. These two are playing with confidence and their energy tanks get bigger every week. Look for these two electricians to provide big sparks from the outside.

Rory Van Vugt will round out the attack from the back and wear 15 again this week. His decision-making in key moments under pressure will give the fullback the responsibility of wearing the (C) again this week.

Experienced leadership is the biggest difference RUNY has over many of the other teams in Major League Rugby right now, and certainly a factor as to why they’re currently playing the most complete rugby across the league. Dylan Fawsitt, Andy Ellis, and Nate Brakely have established a “Championship Mindset” for RUNY and their commitment to those standards has shown.

Pride is always on the line between these two franchises, which have been founded on very similar traditions and pedigrees of American rugby clubs and Universities. Fans for each of these teams will be at the edge of their seats with every pass, line break, and tackle as the same traditions clash, just in different colors. 

Like everything else in New York, the table points will be expensive this Sunday. The 23 who are more consistently willing to pay that toll for their team will escape with the points needed to remain in the driver seat of the Eastern Conference. 

Leave the remote, grab the cannolis, and get ready for Sunday afternoon rugby from the Big Apple.


Date: Sunday, June 13

Venue: St. John’s University

Kickoff: 2:00 PM EST

Referee: Frederico Anselmi (ARG)

Broadcasts: The Rugby Network, FSNY

Watch Party: Reformation Brewery, Smyrna

Forecast: 73℉ & Cloudy


Tale of the Tape:

(L) April 11th, 2021- Rugby ATL 17 – Rugby United New York 27 (Marietta, GA)

(L) February 24th, 2020- Rugby ATL 19 – Rugby United New York 22 (Marietta, GA)

RUNY Rosters