WARRIORS SIGN PRO-BOWLER HALOTI NGATA – (April Fools)
Former Highland HS Rugby All-American signs with Major League Rugby’s Utah Warriors just two weeks after announcing his retirement from the NFL
(Salt Lake City, Utah) – Haloti Ngata, the 5-time NFL Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Baltimore Ravens, announced this morning that he has signed an Associate Player Contract with Major League Rugby and will start immediately with the Utah Warriors. Ngata, who played high school rugby at Salt Lake City’s Highland High School, had just announced his retirement from the NFL on March 18th on top Mt. Kilimanjaro with a banner which read, ‘I’m retiring on top’. He matched that by hiking Utah’s Ensign Peak this weekend with a banner that reads, ‘I’m Going Back To Rugby’, making the statement that this is the place, rugby is the place that molded him to be the football player he is known to be.
Ngata, 35, was selected in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft and played defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, where he earned his Super Bowl ring in 2013. Ngata also played with the Detroit Lions, and most recently with the Philadelphia Eagles. In college, Ngata was a consensus All-American at the University or Oregon but his athletic dominance was first evident on the rugby pitch.
“Rugby was always my first love, it taught me how to be a better football player which proved out in my college and pro career. I am honored to sign with the Warriors and hope to make an impact this Friday night versus Seattle” said Ngata.
“I wanted to move my family back to Utah but do not want to stop competing and want to bring another rugby championship home to Utah. The Warriors have done an amazing job in bringing professional rugby to Utah and the Warriors fan base is loud and loyal” Ngata continued. “Whether its the Washington Huskies, the Seattle Seahawks, or now the Seattle Seawolves, I’ve never been fond of teams from Seattle.”
As a rugby player for Highland High School, Ngata played the eightman position and weighing in at over 250 pounds at the time, helped lead Highland to a National Championship. His explosive running and hitting on the rugby pitch carried over into his college and professional football career. Haloti Discusses Importance of Rugby “We are excited to have Haloti join the team, he will be a huge asset to our forwards and eightman position and his professional experience will be an added gift on the field and in the locker room with the team. We will make sure he is in rugby shape for the rest of the season,” said Warriors Head Coach Alf Daniels.
Warriors Forwards Coach, Stevie Scott responded to the signing of Ngata, “Being from Scotland, I don’t know a thing about American Football or the NFL but if he is ready to play rugby again, and can help us scrum our way to victory, and does what I say then I am happy to have him on our pitch. I understand he’s about 18 stones, that should be plenty to scare the other teams not to mention his athletic prowess.”
It is anticipated that Ngata will start this Friday night as the Warriors take on the defending Major League Rugby Champions the Seattle Seawolves starting at 7:00pm MST at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.
For more information about Ngata’s signing, the Haloti Ngata Family Foundation or about receiving ‘2 for 1’ priced tickets to this Friday’s game for reading this all the way through, call the Utah Warriors Front Office at 801-935-4045.
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