LA Reign just became the NPFL's hottest prospect

Peter Spence
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If the National Pro Fitness League - a new format in the fitness world - was looking for some real star power, it just got it.

It comes in the form of Samantha Briggs. Standing at 5ft 7in and at 62kg, the Mancunian is a proven athlete, having won the title of Fittest Woman on Earth at the 2013 CrossFit Games.

Now she's bringing that experience to Los Angeles based team LA Reign. She's almost certainly the most high-profile signing for the NPFL yet, and brings with her a chunk of legitimacy and tremendous stamina.

She'll now be able to compete in the NPFL's inaugural season, which will include LA Reign and seven other teams, starting in Summer 2014. The team-based sport will include movements familiar to those who've watched or participated in CrossFit - expect barbells, gymnastics, and more in an 8-a-side format.

After three times CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning reportedly ruled himself out of the NPFL entirely, Briggs was the only current title holder who fans of the Games could expect to join the new sport. Her arrival on the scene might cause some critics of the newly founded league to reconsider. There's been suggestion that big names will be hesitant to get involved in a sport that CrossFit HQ might see as a threat, but the NPFL could be good for both.

Briggs bolsters an already formidable roster at LA Reign, which includes other well-known figures, such as Lindsey Valenzuela, Elizabeth Akinwale, and Tommy Hackenbruck. They're all potent individual athletes in the sport of CrossFit, and each brings team experience.

Valenzuela and Briggs competed against each other, on Team USA and Team World respectively, in November last year. Akinwale was a member of the winning squad - Dream Team - at this year's Kill Cliff East Coast Championships, and Hackenbruck's "Hack's Pack UTE" has seen victory in the 2012 and 2013 CrossFit Games.

Bringing that talent together, and more, LA Reign is to be coached by Dusty Hyland. He's already worked with Valenzuela and Hackenbruck, and commands a wealth of experience in competitive sport, having himself trained on the US Olympic gymnastics team.

Other teams boast champion material - 2013 Masters champ Amanda Allen, and 2011 and 2012 winner Annie Thorisdottir are signed up with two rivals - but their line-ups don't impress as much as that of LA Reign, at least on paper.

If LA Reign can function as well as its roster implies, then it could already have the opening season wrapped up.