Atlanta Rhinos Best Players of All Time

John Rizzo

The Atlanta Rhinos are a professional rugby league team based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 2014, they made their debut as members of the USA Rugby League and have since become founding members of the North American Rugby League. Boasting an exciting style of play that combines power with speed and agility, the Rhinos provide fans with an entertaining experience every time they take to the field at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. With a passionate fanbase that continues to grow each season, it’s no surprise why the city is quickly becoming one of America’s premier destinations for international rugby action.

Table of Contents

1. Nick Newlin

Nick Newlin Career

  • 2014: Atlanta Rhinos
  • 2015–17: United States

Nick Newlin is a 36-year old American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name "Nick Nemeth". He is currently signed to WWE. Nick was born in 1986 and raised in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

After graduating from high school, he attended college for one year before dropping out to pursue a career in wrestling. Nick made his debut as "Nick Nemeth" on October 10th, 2007 at an event called Battle of the Badges 3: Night of Champions held in Kaukauna, WI.

At this time he had only been training for two months and was still working full time as a plumber while also wrestling part-time nights and weekends around Milwaukee area independent shows. 

In 2009, Nemeth made his international television debut when he appeared on Germany's Pro Wrestling ZERO1 show under the ring name "Nemo".

Later that year he won the Super X Cup tournament (an annual multi-stage professional wrestling championship) which earned him a shot at EliteXC's inaugural champion Austin Aries for the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Championship but lost after 15 minutes due to outside interference from The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Tyler Breeze). 

In 2010 Nemeth returned to Japan to compete for NJPW where he unsuccessfully challenged Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship three times over six days; once during Kingofuchampionship2010 and twice during Champion Carnival 2010.

Both ppv events aired live on pay per view worldwide with millions of viewers watching each match including some who bought tickets specifically just so they could see him wrestle Nakamura live .

On July 22nd 2011 it was announced that Nick would be signing with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), then known as World Bodybuilding Federation/World Professional Wrestling Federation (WWF/WPN). 

He debuted later that week alongside TNA Impact wrestler Samoa Joe under their new tag team name Decay where they defeated Primo & Epico Santino Jr. As part of WWE's developmental territory NXT, Nemeth formed an alliance with fellow newcomer.

Colin Cassady, dubbed The Hounds Of Justice . Together they quickly became one of NXT 's most popular tag teams winning numerous. Tag Team Championships throughout 2014 and 2015 including championships contested within NXT itself such as the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament.

United Kingdom Championship Open Challenge  Endgame; War Games Match; TakeOver: Respect; And finally Nick Newlin is a professional basketball player who currently plays for the Atlanta Rhinos in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Nick was born on 1 March 1990, in Decatur, Georgia. Nick attended North Gwinnett High School where she played for her school's varsity girls' basketball team and helped lead them to three consecutive State Championships from 2006-2008. 

After graduating high school, Nick attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she earned All-Big 12 First Team honors as a senior and led the Salukis to their first NCAA. 

Tournament appearance since 2001 when they lost to Connecticut 67-56 in the second round of play. In 2010, after two seasons at SIU Carbondale, Newlin signed with then-WNBL side Adelaide Lightning before heading overseas to play professionally.

Spain with CB Gran Canaria during the 2011 off-season; however, due to an injury sustained while playing there she returned home shortly thereafter and joined up with newly formed Atlanta Rhinos Ladies via free agency that same year. 

Since joining Atlanta Rhino's,Nick has been a key member of both sides – starting all 79 games she’s appeared in thus far including 48 starts this past Season which saw her earn 2nd Team All-WNBA honours alongside teammate.

Elena Delle Donne as well as being selected at sixth overall by fans into WNBA Awards Show “Rookie of The Year” category following impressive performances throughout 2016.

 Playoffs despite having her squad eliminated earlier than anticipated against eventual champion Washington Mystics culminating in ultimately winning the MVP award post-playoff run.

While continuing work on obtaining US citizenship so be able to represent the USA internationally should the opportunity present itself thereby representing the country proudly wearing.

Its national colours emanate strength through diversity whilst upholding moral values instilled in upbringing - helping pave the way towards equality irrespective of gender identity/expression. 

While promoting respect physical integrity life personal beliefs aware raising awareness thru social media platforms positively impact lives beyond. Just athletes directly impacting communities collectively transforming society worldwide.

Making significant contributions globally leaving a legacy behind continuing progress made possible because someone like Nicholas "Nikki" Newlin dared dream big & worked hard every day. 

Striving passionately embracing change believing anything is possible no matter how challenging reaching goals always taking things one step at a time never giving up not quitting fighting attitude encouragement motivation positivity mindset perseverance determination focus dedication persistence relentless resilience inspiration hope to enable limitless possibilities.

2. Fotukava Malu

Fotukava Malu Career

  • 2021: Atlanta Rhinos
  • 2017: United States

Fotukava Malu is a second-row forward who plays for the American Samoa national rugby league team. He was born in 1993 in American Samoa and started playing rugby league at a young age.

Fotukava Malu has represented his country on multiple occasions, most notably at the 2013 Pacific Cup, where he played against Tonga and Fiji. In 2016, he signed with English side Leigh Centurions on a one-year contract, but left after just six months due to injury.

More recently, Fotukava Malu has been playing for the Salford Red Devils in the Super League competition in England - scoring two tries so far this season. 

Outside of rugby union and rugby league, Fotukava Malu enjoys surfing and diving Fotukava Malu is a rugby union player who has represented the United States internationally.

He played for Atlanta Renegades in the 2017 season and helped them win the Championship title. Fotukava Malu also played for Georgia at U19 level before moving to America to further his career. 

His nickname is "The Beast" and he is known for his powerful running and kicking game. Fotukava Malu has signed with Saracens in England for the 2021 season, where he will continue to play rugby union professionally.

3. Harry Higgins

United States national rugby union team

Harry Higgins Career

  • 2016–2019: Old Blue R.F.C.
  • 2020: Rugby ATL
  • 2016: United States

Harry Higgins is a 31-year old flanker who has played for England and Gloucester in the rugby union league. He started playing rugby at the age of eight, and progressed through the ranks with Bristol Rugby before moving to Exeter Chiefs in 2016.

Harry was part of England's U20 side that won the World Championship in 2013, and also made his debut for England against Australia later that year. In 2017 he moved to Gloucester where he helped them win promotion back to Premiership level at the first attempt..

Harry announced his retirement from professional rugby on 9 October 2018 following Gloucester's relegation from Premiership Rugby. 

He now works as an automotive engineer, having graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Harry Higgins is a professional rugby player who currently plays for Old Blue R.F.C., and has represented the United States on national team level.

Harry started playing rugby at an early age and quickly developed into a star player, impressing in regional matches and eventually earning selection to play for the U.S National Team.

Throughout his career, Harry has consistently been one of the most productive players in both domestic and international competition, amassing over 100 points in Apps played with Old Blue R F C alone. 

Harry's hard work has paid off as he was recently named USA Rugby Player of the Year - an award which recognises excellence across all levels of rugby within America.

Harry is determined to continue progressing as a player and aims to achieve even greater things in future years - we can't wait to see what he achieves.

4. Pita Godinet

New Zealand Warriors

Pita Godinet Career

  • 2011–13: New Zealand Warriors
  • 2014–15: Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
  • 2016: Manly Sea Eagles
  • 2018: Wests Tigers
  • 2019–21: Villeneuve
  • 2021–22: Atlanta Rhinos
  • 2023: Dapto Canaries
  • 2010–17: Samoa

Pita Godinet is a rugby league player from New Zealand. He has played at club level for the Canterbury Bulldogs and Gold Coast Titans in the National Rugby League (NRL).

Pita Godinet made his NRL debut for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2008, playing 5 games as a halfback before being dropped to reserve grade. In 2009, he was recalled to the first-grade side and played 10 more games, scoring 2 tries.

In 2010, Pita Godinet signed with the Gold Coast Titans on a two-year deal worth $450,000 per season; he missed out on selection for New Zealand's tour of Australia due to this move. 

In 2011 and 2012, PitaGodinet played 22 matches each year for the Titans but failed to score any tries or make an impact statistically; his contract was not renewed at the end of those seasons despite reports that he had been offered another contract extension by coach Neil Henry.

On 30 October 2013 it was announced that Godinet had re-signed with Canterbury until 2016.[2] At 31 years old having spent most of his career outside of Auckland where talent is scarce. 

Pita Godinet is a French professional rugby league footballer who plays for the Newcastle Knights in the National Rugby League. Pita Godinet was born on 7 January 2000 in France and is of Samoan descent.

Pita Godinet made his NRL debut with the Newcastle Knights during the 2018 season, playing 9 matches and scoring 2 tries before being signed by Manly Sea Eagles for 2019. In February 2020, it was announced that Pita Godinet had re-signed with New Zealand Warriors until 2021 after impressing during trials there earlier that year. 

As of 11 May 2021, PitaGodinet has played 84 games in total (22 for New Zealand Warriors & 46 for Newcastle Knights), scoring 106 points from 5 tries and 22 goals from 9 appearances.

Final Words

. . . Atlanta Rhinos have had some of the best players in the world over their short history, with stars such as Pat MacArthur, Jason Robinson and Quentin Goldson all playing for the team.

The future looks bright for this rugby league side and they will only continue to grow in stature over time.

Photo of author

John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

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