SANDY, Utah, May 9, 2011 -- The Utah Warriors, the first professional rugby team in Utah, announced their expansion into two additional leagues, as well as taking over coaching and management of the Highland High School rugby teams.
In addition to the current Utah Warriors team in the Rugby Super League (RSL), the Warriors franchise will expand into the following teams during the remainder of 2011 and into the 2012 season:
- Division 1- Due to the large amount of players, and limited spots on their Super League roster, the Utah Warriors have decided to enter a team in the Division 1. Their first season will begin in 2012. Utah Warriors principal Sean Whalen said, "We are excited about getting a Division 1 team in place as soon as possible. Players in Utah saw the fantastic opportunity the Utah Warriors provided this season, and we want to ensure our Division 1 and Super League teams are competing every year for a National Championship. The Warriors Division 1 team will quickly become the best D1 team in the country because Utah has some of the best rugby talent in America".
- USA Sevens- The Utah Warriors Sevens team will consist of many of the best USA Sevens and US Eagles players in America. They begin their three-month season in June, with the championships occurring at the end of August. It is anticipated the Warrior Sevens team will play around theglobe at various tournaments through out the year, and will be heavily involved with the rapidly growing movement in Sevens rugby.
- Highland High School- Highland has the most successful high school rugby team in the history of U.S. rugby, and was the inspiration for the movie “Forever Strong.” The Utah Warriors, along with famed Highland coach Larry Gelwix have agreed that the Utah Warriors organization will assume management and future operations of the Highland High teams after Mr. Gelwix steps down at the end of the 2011 season. Haloti Liava has been chosen as the new Highland Varsity team head coach, and beginning next season, a new position has been created at Highland, Director of Rugby Operations. This position will oversee all aspects of rugby with the newly formed partnership and organization between the Utah Warriors and Highland Rugby, The HighlandWarriors. Jon Law, head coach for the Utah Warriors, has accepted thisDirector position. The Highland teams will keep many of the legendary traditions of winning coach Larry Gelwick, as he transitions into a full-time service mission for the L.D.S. church.
“Our goal is to be able to support Utah rugby from rookie rugby and the youth programs, all the way to the U.S. Eagles” said Utah Warrior’s principal Sean Whalen. “We want Utah rugby to be able to be the largest producer of top talent for the U.S. Eagles to select from, and for National teams to contract players to play professionally around the globe.”
With the Utah Warriors involved in rugby from youth programs up to the national team, there is a consistency that will beable to create best-in-breed players for the national team, and teams aroundthe globe.
About the Utah Warriors
The Utah Warriors are an expansion rugby team that competes in the Rugby Super League. Sean Whalen, CEO of Property 23, assembled the team in 2010 and handles team operations.
Snapp Conner PR