The LA Giltinis can confirm USA Eagles backrower Hanco Germishuys will be heading to Los Angeles next season, as per of trade with Rugby New York.
Today’s announcement adds another weapon to the Giltinis’ pack with the South African-born Germishuys renowned for his influential ball-carrying.
Germishuys, 25, will arrive in LA on December 30 to start preparations with his new club after spending the 2020 and 2021 seasons in New York City.
The 6’2” (1.84m), 230lb (104kg) backrower was a frontline member of the Eagles squad at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and played the most recent of his 27 Tests against the All Blacks in October.
For the Giltinis, it is an upbeat sign of how magnetic the club has become in the wake of the historic Championship triumph in season one.
“Everything the Giltinis have put in place for players off the field is very professional. On the field, you can see the players are playing for each other and having fun,” Germishuys said.
“The Giltinis were looking for another backrower and I put my hand up.
“To win a Championship in year one as a club was amazing. The Giltinis boomed into the finals, they got more and more fans behind them and I had people, not even from LA, coming up to me and telling me how good it was for rugby in the US.”
Germishuys was a key member of the abrasive Rugby United New York effort in May when an 18-16 upset was pulled off against the Giltinis in New York.
He has been playing in the MLR since its birth in 2018 so is in a good position to comment on the competition’s growth.
“It’s very exciting to see the MLR skyrocketing in standard and a big part of that is American players now playing and learning beside the international players being brought in,” Germishuys said.
“Learning from some senior internationals and a backrower as head coach (Stephen Hoiles) is one of the appeals of the Giltinis because it will help me grow my game.”
Germishuys has played the bulk of his rugby as an openside flanker but is versatile coverage at blindside flanker and No.8.
Hoiles is enthusiastic about everything that Germishuys can offer the second-season club.
“Hanco is a great pick-up for us. He’s versatile with his ball-running, his tackling and being good over the ball,” Hoiles said.
“He has a lot of experience and has proved himself one of MLR’s better performers.”
The Giltinis kick-off their Championship defence against the Houston Sabercats in Houston on February 5. Opening Day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is set for Sunday, February 27 against the New England Free Jacks.