Austin Elite Rugby – Siaosi Finau
Austin Elite Rugby announced that Austin Blacks prop Siaosi Finau has signed with the team for the 2018 Major League Rugby season.
Siaosi is 25 years old, 6’ tall and weighs 245lbs. He was born and raised in Euless, Texas, which has a sizable ethnic Tongan enclave. He attended Trinity High School beginning in the Fall of 2007 and graduated in 2010. There he played football with the team winning the State Championship in 2009. Jerry Longman of the New York Times, the impact that the Tongan community had on their rise as a football powerhouse.
After graduating high school, Siaosi enrolled at Tyler Junior College in 2011 and obtained two Associates Degrees in 2013 in General Studies and in Business. He also played football there. The Summer between his first and second year at Tyler Junior College, he played center with Euless Rugby Club. He played that position because the team consisted of larger men that were my cousins or uncles.
He then attended San Angelo State University during the Spring 2014 semester before transferring to Arkansas State University for the Fall 2014 semester. He attended there because he wanted to play rugby at a higher level and did so until he graduated in Spring 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.
At Arkansas State, he initially was a center and was converted to a prop. “The coaches and players did a great job molding me to the player I am today. They literally taught me everything on how to play the sport.”
After graduation from Arkansas State, he joined the Austin Blacks in the Fall 2016 and has continued with the team through 2017. There he played both prop and hooker. The later was a new position. “I never really knew how to hook, but I was willing to learn and make the adjustments.”
“Playing football my entire life helped me with my work ethic, strength, and speed. I had to workout with my cousins who were huge linemen, so that definitely pushed me to keep up with them in weights. But rugby is a completely different sport. The amount of fitness you have to have is on another level. The different skills you have to hold like passing, catching, learning how to run lines, reading the defense, and knowing what to do ahead of time just makes the sport what it is. Obviously, I don’t have the pads to protect me so I have to be smarter about how I use my body, while at the same time be a force to be reckoned with.”
“The atmosphere for both sports are different. Rugby is a sport full of gents.”
“So far with the Austin Elite, the change is great and I’m loving every second. Everything is what you expect it to be; high tempo, great coaching, and training.”
Austin Elite Rugby Comments
Siaosi considers “his greatest rugby accomplishment his selection for Austin Elite Rugby and playing professionally in his home state, especially considering that he had only played rugby informally until age 22. ” Siaosi added that “The first time I played rugby competitively is when I was playing for Arkansas State. I actually learned the game properly at college. All the time before were just playing for fun.”
Austin Elite Rugby
- Alain Hyardet – Head Coach
- Rick Medina – Corporate Sales Manager
- Peter Malcolm – Hooker
- Zinzan Elan-Puttick – Fullback
- Sione Fangaihuia – Center
- Vetekina Malafu – Wing
- Michael Reid – Scrumhalf
- Mason Pedersen – Loosehead Prop
- Zac Mizell – Flyhalf, Utility Back
- Sani Taylor – Wing
- Knute O’Donnell – Scrum-half
- Allan Hanson – Utility Back
- Timothée Guillimin – Utility Back
- Antonio Winn – Utility Back
- Pakisonasi Afu – Midfield
- Paddy Ryan – Tighthead Prop
- Robert Drummond – Prop
- Siaosi Finau – Prop