Old Glory DC announce additional signings for the 2022 Season

Old Glory DC announce additional signings for the 2022 Season

Peni Lasaqa
Old Glory is excited to announce the signing of Peni Lasaqa to the DC squad for the 2022 Major League Rugby season.

“Peni had a very good National Provincial Championship in New Zealand in 2021,” said Coach Douglas. “We need another finisher on our team, and Peni fits the bill. He’s quick and elusive, and I’m sure he will provide a threat to all defenses this season. He appears to be a very good young man, which adds to the quality of people we have at OG.”

Peni joins Old Glory, having spent time with Bay of Plenty in the National Provincial Championship in New Zealand. In 2019, Peni was named to the All Blacks Sevens Development team and joined New Zealand Under 20’s team.

When asked about joining Old Glory, Peni said, “I’m grateful and excited for this opportunity that Old Glory has given me.”

 

Kyle Stewart

Old Glory is excited to announce the signing of previous Yarrows Taranaki Bulls prop, Kyle Stewart, to the DC squad for 2022.

“Kyle comes recommended by Neil Barnes, the former Chiefs Taranaki coach,” said Coach Douglas. “He’s a strong tight head prop who has good ball skills and a big engine behind him. He adds another layer of depth to the front row and will assist young front-rowers like Jack Carroll grow their game. We’re excited to have Kyle joining us at OG, and I know he can’t wait to get here.”

“I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to come over to play for Old Glory,” said Kyle Stewart on coming to DC. “I can’t wait to meet everybody at Old Glory and get stuck into some training with the lads. Also, getting out and playing in front of a home crowd and meeting the supporters is something I look forward to.”

 

Will Vakalahi

Old Glory announces the return of Will Vakalahi to the DC squad for the 2022 Major League Rugby season.

“I’m very excited to get back out to DC and play rugby again,” said Will on coming back to DC for 2022. “I sat out last season due to an injury, so I’m itching to get back on the field with the boys. The DC area was very welcoming, and it was fun to watch the program grow last season from home. But I’m ready to get back into the mix and pick up where I left off in 2020.”

“It’s great to have Will back after a year with an injury,” said Coach Douglas. “He had a successful season with MLR in 2020. He’s a dynamic ball carrier and an aggressive defender. We’re looking forward to seeing a more improved Will in 2022.”

 

Palema Roberts

Old Glory announces the signing of 2021 MLR draft pick Palema Roberts to the DC squad for the 2022 Major League Rugby season. Palema was selected 19th overall in the second round of the draft.

“Palema played for the national winning collegiate team at Life University,” said Coach Douglas. “He’s a strong ball-carrying center at the collegiate level and one we’re excited to pick up. He has a good background in rugby, and he’s well-coached and a good young man. We’re excited to see his future in the club.”

Hailing from Makakilo, Hawaii, Roberts joins the OG squad as a two-time D1-A national champion with Life University.

On being signed to the Old Glory squad, Palema said, “Keen for this new journey and excited to be able to play and learn alongside some experienced OG’s.”

 

LJ Koi-Larbi

Old Glory announces the 2021 MLR draft pick, LJ Koi-Larbi, to the DC squad for the 2022 MLR season. LJ was selected 32nd overall during the third round of the draft.

“LJ is a local product from Gonzaga High School, and at Old Glory, we like to promote the local players in the area,” said Coach Douglas. “He had a great career at Penn State. He’s a hard-hitting, skillful inside center, and already in the preseason, he’s improved immensely, and his potential is unlimited.:

LJ is an alumnus of high school rugby powerhouse Gonzaga College High School, won two back-to-back national championship titles in 2015 and 2016, and in his senior year, Koi-Larbi was named captain of the team. This past May, he graduated from Penn State University as a three-year starter on the collegiate rugby team. The outside center was a key player for Penn State and was named the 2018 Rugby East All-Conference team in the Goff Rugby Report.

“I’m excited to have gotten drafted and be able to play for my hometown team,” said LJ on signing with Old Glory. “The team atmosphere here is completely electric, and I have already learned so much from all the veterans on the team in the short time I’ve been here. I’m ready to work hard, keep on learning and constantly improve throughout my first year.”

 

Fintan Coleman
Old Glory announces the signing of Fintan Coleman to the DC squad for the 2022 Major League Rugby season.

“For a young player, he’s had some good experiences with high profile clubs,” said Head Coach Andrew Douglas. “Fintan gives us extra depth in the back row. He’s a big man who functions well in the lineout and has a strong work rate. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can deliver to Old Glory, and hopefully, he creates a strong presence throughout the season.”

Fintan joins Old Glory, having previously been a member of the Ireland U-18 squad, the All-Ireland League D1A side, Young Munster, and the London Irish Academy Side.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic to start my new journey with Old Glory,” said Fintan. “I have been watching the growth of the MLR in recent years and to now be part of the 2022 season is an honour for me. Everyone involved in Old Glory has been fantastic since I arrived at the club. Really looking forward to the first game of the season and what the year will hold for us!”

 

David Beach

Old Glory DC re-signs lock David Beach, who enters his second season with Old Glory DC.

Beach found rugby playing for the Presque Isle Rugby Football Club in Erie, PA. In doing so, he earned the opportunity to play for Notre Dame College and coach Jason Fox, who spoke highly of Beach’s raw athletic talent.

Since college, Beach has played for Mystic Rugby Men’s Club and joined Stars Rugby, a high-performance rugby program that travels domestically and internationally. After playing for Mystic, Beach became committed to improving his own game, spending the past year adding almost 30 pounds of muscle training with former professional boxer George Linberger and Ty James in Ohio.

Standing at 6’7, Beach graduated from Franklin Area High School in Franklin, PA. Before finding rugby, Beach was a member of his school’s wrestling team, a sport with valuable skills that lend themselves to the rugby pitch. He is looking forward to continuing his rugby evolution with Old Glory DC.

 

Jack Russell

Old Glory is excited to announce the signing of Jack Russell. Jack enters his first season with Old Glory DC and Major League Rugby.

The wing began playing rugby his sophomore year in college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2019, he was named Penn Mutual Life of Significance award winner and Big 10 All-Conference. While at UWM, he earned a Bachelors’s Degree in Environmental Studies and is currently in the Masters’s of Business Administration program at the University of Montana. For the past few years, Jack has been working in the solar energy industry and wildland firefighting.

In October of 2021, Jack moved to the DMV for the Old Glory Academy program and joined the local Northern Virginia club.

“Jack came to us from Wisconsin early last year and started training with us preseason as a part of Old Glory Under 23 Academy. He impressed us so much that we promoted him to the first team this season. He’s a very coachable young man who is tough and wants to excel at every level of the game. We enjoyed his first preseason header against Toronto Arrows last week, and I’m looking forward to a successful season from him.”

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