In 2020, Rugby ATL finished its inaugural
season 2-3 after the season was cut short due to the
COVID-19 pandemic, denying the team the chance
to play in 11 games.
The 2021 roster consisted of 38 players — 19
forwards and 19 backs. Leading the first team
squad are captains Matt Heaton and Ryan Nell.
General Manager Scott Lawrence heads the team.
Lawrence spent 15 years with Life University’s
rugby program, one of Life’s most successful
athletic teams. Stephen Brett is the attack coach, DJ
Williams the analyst, Blake Bredford the set piece
and forwards coach and Santi Sodini the director of
The team has taken to the nickname “The
Ratlers,” after the team’s initials, RATL, and adopted
a grey, white and red-eyed rattlesnake as a symbol.
The team was first announced in September
2018, with MLR revealing Atlanta as one of its
new expansion franchises for 2020. The team
announced its name in February 2019. The team
played eight exhibition games in 2019, winning
seven, but the games did not count in the league’s
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In only its second season of play, Rugby ATL played for the Major League