Why are so many Old Glory players unavailable?

By Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Mar 8, 2024 - 8:00pm

Corrections: Neither Tristan Cole nor Charlie Overton has been loaned to Anthem. Cole has remained with the team the whole time and continues to train with them. Overton is playing at Life for his final year of college eligibility and has not signed any sort of contract with Old Glory. The original article is below, without the incorrect information about Cole and Overton

Old Glory announced their roster for their round 2 match against the Free Jacks earlier today. They also included a long list of players who were unavailable for selection for one reason or another. Ten players were on that list, accounting for over a quarter of the total squad.

After contacting a source with the team, I can clarify most of the absences:

Prop Kevin Bou was injured in preseason and is unlikely to be available for selection this season. He was seen on scooter with an injured leg during the open practice. Facundo Gattas, the Uruguayan hooker who has been with team for a couple years now, was apparently also injured in preseason. Winger Perry Humphreys, who was a big signing in the offseason, seems to have picked up an injury in the match against NOLA. The latter two injuries were not said to be season ending.

Damien Hoyland, the Scottish wing/fullback, has only just made it through the visa process and isn't yet ready to play. It's a similar situation for Danny Tusitala, who arrived late into camp. It wasn't clear when they would be available, but one expects that it will be in the near future. Meanwhile news broke earlier this week that Axel Muller, the Argentinian winger, is serving a suspension he picked up while playing in France and will be available for selection starting next week. News about Niko Jones is expected shortly.

These unavailabilities have already had an impact. It was clear before the season that Old Glory was banking on quality over quantity with an amazing starting lineup and bench, but then only a small number of players in reserve. My expectation was that the team would do well as long as they could stay healthy. Unfortunately, we're seeing what happens when they're not.

Old Glory is two injuries in the front row away from being unable to field a legal lineup. They are only a couple injured backs away from running out of reserve backs. They already don't have any reserve hookers, locks, scrumhalves, or centers, and would require a player to change positions to cover in case of an injury. The only position with any real competition for bench spots is the back row, where despite Niko Jones being out there are still two players, Brady Daniel and Dacoda Worth, competing for a spot in the lineup.

Some of these availability issues are likely to sort themselves out in the near future, but the team is still running a risk by riding with such a light roster. We could see them make midseason signings to cover some gaps, like how we signed Kyle Baillie last year, or we could see the team try to tough it out and make the current roster work.