Stampeders activate South African rugby player Nico Leonard, add one to retired list

Photo courtesy: Nico Leonard

The Calgary Stampeders have placed American defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle on the retired list and activated global running back Nico Leonard from the suspended list.

Sprinkle signed with the Stamps on September 19, 2021 and appeared in one game, recording a pair of defensive tackles.

He played 29 games over parts of five seasons at Ohio State and made 20 tackles including three tackles for loss and added one pass breakup. He was elected a team captain as a senior as the Buckeyes would go on to win the Big Ten championship.

Leonard played professional rugby for five seasons in South Africa for the Western Province’s DHL Stormer after a distinguished amateur career that saw him establish the record for career tries at Paul Roos Gymnasium, a school which has produced a national record 54 members of the Springbok National Team.

After going undrafted in the 2021 Global Draft, Leonard was signed as a free agent by the Stamps in April 2021 but was later placed on the suspended list when international travel restrictions prevented him from reporting to the team in time for training camp.

The winger’s interest in football and his knowledge of the sport began as a youth when he played the Madden video game.