Last weekend, Newport Rugby player Jon White suffered a serious fracture in his face that will require surgery to repair.  Without hesitation, the Rugby community and local Aquidneck Island residents and businesses came to his aid.

“Jon White always gives 110% on the rugby pitch and there was no difference for the 2021 Rhode Island Cup on the field against Providence. He sadly clashed heads at full speed with an opponent and paid the price with his beautiful face.  Jon requires surgery to repair a fracture in his face and needs all the support he can get from the rugby world! All proceeds will go towards hospital bills. Thank you for all the support.”

This statement was posted on the GoFundMe page that was created 3 days ago to support Jon’s recovery.  In just 72 hours, over 240 donors have donated to this cause.  Donors include current Newport Rugby players and alumni, local businesses, Aquidneck Island residents, and even rival Rugby clubs have made donations to this cause. 

The comradery associated with rugby always fascinated me personally.  When I went to Providence College, a core group of my friends played rugby there.  They would spend two hours beating the hell out of one another on the pitch, only to meet up after the game at the hosting teams’ hangout and have celebratory drinks and conversation.  It’s a fraternity that is proudly understood between those who compete in the sport. 

Jon is recovering from his injury and will undergo surgery next week.  Here is a message that he posted yesterday on the fundraising page.

“First off, I want to thank everyone for the amount of support you have shown me and my family. It has been overwhelming and I truly appreciate every person who has reached out. I am humbled by the generosity of our community in helping me navigate this situation.”

“I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for their support.  The rugby community and to a larger extent the Newport Rugby community is an amazing group of people and I am so proud to be a part of it.  While I won’t be on the field going forward, you know I’ll be on the sidelines having beers and cheering on the boys.”  Get well soon Jon! 

Tyler Bernadyn

WUN's Tyler Bernadyn is a born and raised Rhode Islander who proudly calls Newport home. Tyler works as a full-time realtor with the Fitzpatrick Team at RE/Max Professionals of Newport. He also bartends periodically at local favorites Midtown Oyster Bar and Caleb & Broad.

When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his two dogs, Bella & Red.  Feel free to contact him at directly at 401-241-1851 or,