Utah Warriors Make Four Selections In 2023 Collegiate Draft

Aug 18, 2023, 4:04 PM


Members of Rugby New York celebrate with the MLR Shield following their victory against the Seattle Seawolves during the Major League Rugby Championship at Red Bull Arena on June 25, 2022 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for Rugby New York)

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for Rugby New York)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Warriors selected four players in the Major League Rugby’s 2023 collegiate draft on Thursday.

Utah traded its first-round pick to the NOLA Gold for salary cap considerations and a 3rd round pick in 2024.

Despite this, Utah still walked away with an excellent pool of young prospects.

The Warrior’s first pick came in the middle of the second round. They selected Trinity Western University’s Josh Halladay.

Halladay is from White Rock, British Columbia. He played as a Lock for one year with the Spartans before declaring for the MLR Draft.

Utah had back-to-back picks in the second round.

With the 20th pick, the Warriors selected Brigham Young University’s Michael Biagi.

Biagi attended Provo High School and is originally from Burlingame, California. He also spent time in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Mexico.

In early high school, he was also a member of the U16 Mexican National Basketball Team. Biagi is a flanker.

Utah’s third pick came just two picks later at 22. Rugby New York selected Central Washington’s Albert O’Shannesse with the 21st pick.

The Warriors doubled down on flankers, selecting University of Arizona’s Abe Turpen with the 22nd pick in the draft.

Turpen, born in Boise, Idaho, was a pure winner in high school. He was a three-sport athlete, competing in Rugby, Football, and Wrestling.

Turpen won three-straight state titles in Wrestling at Capital High School.

With their fourth and final pick, Utah drafted Fresno State’s Isaia Kruse.

Kruse’s brother, Mika, currently plays for the Warriors.

In high school, Kruse played for the USA’s U18 7s team in the 2018 Youth Olympics.

Last year, Kruse was nominated for the Rudy Scholz Award, which recognizes the best collegiate men’s rugby player.

Utah Warriors in 2023

Utah finished its 2023 schedule with a 10-6 record and 50 points. The Warriors ended up in fourth place in the MLR Western Conference standings and three points out from the final playoff spot in the West.

The Herriman-based club had a positive point differential of +24. The Warriors also finished with four more total tries than their opponents combined.

Also on July 18, the Warriors announced the hiring of Andy Chesnut as chief commercial officer and Wayne Tarawhiti as director of players & pathway.

Utah also plans to add two assistant coaches to Greg Cooper’s staff this offseason. The Warriors recently lost general manager Brandon Sparks and assistant coach Shaun Davies, who decided to “pursue other opportunities outside of rugby.”


Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Utah Warriors


Kyle Ireland

Utah Warriors Sneak Past San Diego Legion For One-Point Win

The Utah Warriors took down the San Diego Legion in a back-and-forth game that ended in a one-point victory for the visitors.

1 day ago

Utah Warriors Anthem RC Dallas Jackals Rugby...

Chandler Holt

Utah Warriors Drop Tight Contest Following Last-Minute Dallas Try

The Utah Warriors lost a heartbreaker on the road, 22-20, in Dallas as the Jackals secured their first home win of the season.

10 days ago

utah warriors players goes up for ball...

Chandler Holt

Huge Second Half Propels Utah Warriors To Win Over Anthem RC

The Utah Warriors rattled off 29 unanswered points in the second half to pick up a big win over the Anthem RC on Friday.

17 days ago


Kyle Ireland

Utah Warriors Fall Four Points Short In Comeback Attempt In Los Angeles

The Utah Warriors made a valiant push in the closing minutes before falling short of a comeback on the road against Rugby FC Los Angeles.

29 days ago


Kyle Ireland

Utah Warriors Stuggle To Score, Drop Home Match To Seattle Seawolves

The Utah Warriors suffered their second loss of the season after falling at home to the visiting Seattle Seawolves.

1 month ago

utah warriors players goes up for ball...

KSL Sports

Utah Warriors Beat Chicago Hounds In Home Opener At Zions Bank Stadium

The Utah Warriors downed the Chicago Hounds in their second match of the season at Zions Bank Stadium in Utah.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah Warriors Make Four Selections In 2023 Collegiate Draft