NEW YORK, NY – We closed shop for a what should have been slow week on the rugby front… and what happens? A slew of contracts were signed throughout Major League Rugby. Exciting players crossed over from other pro set-ups, #MLR stars moved between teams and other important names were retained by their teams, like the unsung yet very valuable Irish prop *James Rochford here in NYC. “Rocky’s” team, Rugby United NY, has had fans watching the clock daily to catch their 3pm announcements and today’s headliner won’t disappoint: Hanco Germishuys is coming back.
For those unfamiliar with this explosive, young, star-in-the-making, a little background: Germishuys moved from South Africa to Nebraska (that ain’t a misprint) in 2004. The 23-yearold was just 8 at the time and simple arithmetic has him in the USA for 14 or 15 of his 23 years, depending how many HIA assessments you’ve had. This wrecking ball flanker has speed, power, ball-carrying skills and a remarkable amount of high-level experience for such a youthful rugger (West Side High School was part of that). Indeed, he’s been with 4 professional teams in the USA: the Denver Stampede (in the now-defunct PRO Rugby), Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors & Rugby United New York. While his initial run with RUNY was limited to a figurative cup of coffee, his on-field exploits had our low-key pal Bryan Ray of Americas Rugby News doing backwards cartwheels.
But wait, there’s more!
Mr. Germishuys also played for Team USA in Japan in the Rugby World Cup. Eagle #489 played well, giving the world glimpses of his potential. And his fellow Eagle, RUNY Captain Dylan Fawsitt, not one to issue praise lightly, said this:
“Hanco is a tough player to go up against. His leg strength makes him powerful and hard to defend.”
That power and potential is not lost on MLR execs, either. One such executive, who wished to remain anonymous, said:
“He’s the best American player of his generation.”
That’s saying something.
Additionally, NY Head Coach, Greg McWilliams, who is an Assistant Coach for USA Rugby, said this:
“Hanco is critically important for RUNY moving forward – show’s our intent. A young gifted American back-rower who will have many years playing in the RUNY colors as well as those of the Eagles. He’s got a tremendous skill set. I know [NY Assistant Coach] Marty Veale, the remainder of the staff and the players are excited to continue working with Hanco.”
On a personal level, talking with Germishuys on the show or seeing him in person, he’s always been a gentleman. He called me “Sir,” which we quickly established was not necessary – only Dan Power has to call me that – but it did underscore his solid stock, which makes you just want to root for the guy.
Kudos to Hanco and plaudits for the RUNY brass on a union that will have Rugby United NY fans rightfully excited.
*I didn’t want to cross paths with Rocky Rochford having not mentioned him. 🙂