Written by Joe Harvey Photo by Chase Dennies
Coming out of their bye week, NOLA Gold is third in the Eastern Conference. After winning three of their opening seven games so far in the 2023 season, the side currently has 16 points, just four adrift of second-place New York Ironworkers.
Following a 4-12 regular season in 2022, the Gold remains the only original Major League Rugby side that has yet to reach the playoffs.
While the beginning of this campaign has already seen its ups and downs, this weekend will see NOLA take on Rugby ATL at the Gold Mine as their tilt toward the postseason continues.
Since arriving in Louisiana, JP du Plessis has been one of the key players on the team. Arriving in MLR with extensive playing experience in South Africa, Australia, and France, the 31-year-old quickly made an impact in North America.
Photo by Craig Boudreaux
While playing for San Diego Legion, du Plessis was named MLR Back of the Year in 2019, taking the side to the Championship Final that same season.
Joining New Orleans in 2020, the South African continued his dominance and last season was named as his team’s Back of the Year a season after taking part in all 16 games and starting 15 of them.
Having started all seven of his team’s fixtures so far in this campaign, du Plessis has experienced the highs of a dominant win over New York and the despair of a close 35-36 loss to the Seattle Seawolves last time out.
First win of #MLR2023 for @nolagoldrugby against the defending champions from @rugbynewyork.
Check out the full match highlights!