Eric Howard & Hubert Buydens: New Orleans Gold Canada Front Row Duo
By Doug Coil
New Orleans Gold Rugby Club has signed Eric Howard for the inaugural Major League Rugby season.
Eric, who plays Hooker for the Canada National Team, will team with Hubert Buydens a loosehead prop, in the front row.
Eric began to play rugby as a senior at Earl of March High School after previously playing hockey, soccer, and football. Upon graduation, he played rugby at the University of Guelph for the Gryphons for five years until 2016. During the last two years, he was named MVP for The Gryphons. The team reached the OUA Men’s Rugby league Championship final for the third consecutive year against the Queen’s University Gaels.
Eric also proved himself to be a mobile player and a solid prospect as a successor down the road to Ray Barkwill with the Brantford Harlequins and the Ontario Blues.
Eric’s introduction to international rugby came in 2013 as he represented Canada at the FISU Games in Kazan, Russia.
In 2016 he was named to the Canada National Team for the Americas Rugby Championship. His test debut came against Brazil at Langford on February 20, 2016. Since then, he has earned ten caps , his most recent against Georgia on June 10, 2017.
Eric also played at the Hong Kong Rugby 10s for the Penquins in April, 2017. This was chronicled by Patrick Johnston in The Province.
There is additional international rugby on the horizon, as Eric will represent the Canada ‘A’ team in the Americas Pacific Challenge at Montevideo, Uruguay. Matches against Argentina XV, Tonga A and the USA Selects will take place on Oct, 7, 11, and 15, respectfully.
Major League Rugby fans in New Orleans should be excited to for their Canadian National Team duo to join the New Orleans Gold soon.
New Orleans Gold Rugby Club
- Nate Osborne – Head Coach
- Todd Fitzgerald – Assistant Head Coach and Assistant General Manager
- Sebastián Kalm – Backrow
- Moni Tongauiha – Center
- Hubert Buydens – Loosehead prop
- Eric Howard – Hooker
- Ratu Peceli Rinakama – Flyhalf, Scrum-half, Wing, Fullback
- Bobby Johns – Center, Flyhalf, Scrumhalf
- Matt Hughston – Center, Flanker
- Jojo Tikoisuva – Wing
- Tim Falcon – Owner
- JP Eloff – Flyhalf, Center, Fullback
- Ryan Fitzgerald – General Manager
- Holden Youngert – Scrum-half
- Michael Baska – Fullback
- Derrek Van Klein – Loosehead Prop
- Myles McQuone – Lock