Austin Elite Rugby & New Orleans Gold
Austin Elite Rugby will face the New Orleans Gold Rugby Club in their home Major League Rugby opener on May 3 at 8 pm CDT at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex. The team has been very competitive in their two away losses. NOLA Gold comes into the match after beating the Houston SaberCats to open their season and then having a bye last weekend.
Tickets are still available for the match, however, should you not be able to attend the match, it will be streamed nationally on ESPN+, internationally on the Major League Rugby Facebook page, and locally on Cox Yurview and on AT&T Sports Net SW.
Austin Elite Rugby
Head Coach Alain Hyardet has made three changes from the team’s loss to the Houston SaberCats. Pedrie Wannenburg is at flanker, Roland Suniula at center, and Ned Hudson is at fullback.
The forwards will include a front row of Chris Schade, Michael Brown, and Mason Pedersen, with locks Ben Mitchell and Kyle Breytenbach moving from flanker to lock. The back row includes Ross Deacon, Pedrie Wannenburg, and Hanco Germishuys.
Both Schade and Pedersen played professionally in the U.S. in 2016, while Michael Brown played with Rugby United New York. Mitchell played professionally in Ireland and Breytenbach is an experienced player from South Africa. At flanker is Ross Deacon, who is from Ireland and played with Rugby United New York. He is joined by Springbok Pedrie Wannenburg at flanker and Hanco Germishuys, an Eagle from South Africa at No. 8.
In the backs, Ireland and Rugby United New York scrumhalf Marcus Walsh will pair with Timothee Guillimin from France at flyhalf. The Centers include experienced professionals and Eagles brothers Roland Suniula and Andrew Suniula, the team captain. At wing is the versatile back Sani Taylor and Sione Fangaiuiha. At fullback is Ned Hodson, a professional who played with Munster A, 7s, U18,19 & the 20s, and at UCC (University College Cork.
In the reserves are forwards David LeMasters at hooker, Siaosi Finau, and Robert Drummond at prop, USA Men’s Eagles all-time caps leader Todd Clever, and Victor Comptat (France D2 professional) at flanker. Backs include Knute O’Donnell at scrumhalf, Alex Faison-Donahoe at wing, and Pat Sullivan at center.
New Orleans Gold
The New Orleans Gold Rugby Club opened their Major League Rugby season on April 21, beating the Houston SaberCats 35-26. They are one of two undefeated teams and are playing their second consecutive match away against Austin Elite Rugby.
Nate Osborne has made four changes in his starters with Derrek Van Klein and Cam Falcon at loosehead and tighthead prop, respectively. Ratu Rinakama is on the wing and Zack Stryffeler is at outside center.
Scrumhalf Tevita Makasini has joined the team and will be in the reserves. He played recently with Metropolis RFC and played with Eastern Suburbs in Sydney, Australia.
The forwards include Derrek Van Klein who played with Metropolis RFC, Canadian international hooker Eric Howard, and Cam Falcon, who has played professionally, at either hooker or tighthead prop. Chile international Nikola Bursic and former Kansas Blues and Lindenwood University Matt Wirken are the locks. The flankers include Mystic River’s John Sullivan and Matt Hughston, who played with Charlotte, USA Rugby South, and the Ohio Aviators. At No. 8 is Sebastian Kalm, another former Aviator player, who could join the national team in the near future.
Holden Youngert and Taylor Howden are the halfbacks. Youngert played for the USA Selects and Saint Mary’s College, while captain Taylor Howden played professionally for the Ohio Aviators, and also in New Zealand. The Centers also played professionally for the Ohio Aviators. Eagle JP Eloff is settling in at inside center and Zack Stryffeleris at outside center. The wings include former Fijian player Ratu Rinakama and longtime New Orleans RFC player Bobby Johns. Michael Baska, a Collegiate All-American at both Lindenwood University and Arkansas State, is at fullback.
Reserves forwards include Amro Guida, who captained Charlotte RFC and played with USA Rugby South at hooker, Canadian international Hubert Buydens, and Eagle Ben Tarr at prop. Myles McQuone, a former captain of both the Fairfield Yankees and who also is a sea captain, is a lock.
Reserve backs include Tevita Makasini at scrumhalf, former USA All-American wing Joeli Tikoisuva, center Tesimoni Tongauiha, a USA Islander. Melvin Desouza rounds out the squad at wing. He is among several players who played formerly with Metropolis RFC on the team.
Austin Elite Rugby & New Orleans Gold Squads
Austin Elite: 1 Chris Schade 2 Mike Brown 3 Mason Pedersen 4 Ben Mitchell 5 Kyle Breytenbach 6 Ross Deacon 7 Pedrie Wannenburg 8 Hanco Germishuys 9 Marcus Walsh 10 Timothée Guillimin 11 Sani Taylor 12 Roland Suniula 13 Andrew Suniula 14 Sione Fangaiuiha 15 Ned Hodson 16 David LeMasters 17 Siaosi Finau 18 Robert Drummond 19 Todd Clever 20 Victor Comptat 21 Knute O’Donnell 22 Alex Faison-Donahoe 23 Pat Sullivan + Head Coach Alain Hyardet (Specific #16-23 Not provided)
New Orleans Gold: 1 Derrek Van Klein 2 Eric Howard (VC) 3 Cameron Falcon 4 Nikola Bursic 5 Matt Wirken 6 John Sullivan 7 Matt Hughston 8 Sebastian Kalm 9 Holden Yungert 10 Taylor Howden (C) 11Ratu Rinakama 12 JP Eloff 13 Zack Stryffeler 14 Bobby Johns 15 Michael Baska 16 Amro Gouda 17 Hubert Buydens 18 Ben Tarr 19 Myles McQuone 20 Tevita Makasini 21 Joeli Tikoisuva 22 Tesimoni Tongauiha 23 Melvin Desouza + Head Coach Nate Osborne
Austin Elite Rugby Pre-season Schedule
- March 25 vs. San Diego Legion (L 32-24) Preview
- March 31 at New Orleans Gold (L 48-17) Preview
- April 7 vs. New Orleans Gold (L 38-10) Preview with March 31 recap
Austin Elite Rugby 2018 Major League Rugby Schedule
- April 21 at Glendale Raptors (L 41-26) Preview CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- April 28 at Houston SaberCats (L 50-38) Preview AT&T
- May 3 vs. New Orleans Gold Preview 8 pm CDT Network: AT&T
- May 11 at Utah Warriors 8 pm CDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 25 v. San Diego Legion 8 pm CDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- June 1 vs. Utah Warriors 8 pm CDT Network: AT&T
- June 9 vs. Seattle Seawolves 8 pm CDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- June 17 at San Diego Legion 7 pm CDT Local Network: Cox/AT&T
New Orleans Gold Pre-Season
- Jan. 3 Open Training Camp
- Jan. 20 vs. Capital Rugby Union Selects (W 68-15) Preview
- Feb. 24 at Houston SaberCats (L 30-12) Preview
- March 10 at Glendale Raptors (L 38-14) Preview
- March 24 vs Houston SaberCats (D 32-32) Preview
- March 31 vs Austin Elite (W 48-17) Preview
- April 7 at Austin Elite (W 38-10) Preview with March 31 recap
New Orleans Gold 2018 Major League Rugby Season
- April 21 At Houston Sabercats (W 35-26) Preview
- May 3 At Austin Elite Preview 8 pm CDT Network: AT&T
- May 12 Home vs. Seattle Seawolves Noon CDT Network: Cox/AT&T
- May 19 Home vs. Houston SaberCats Noon CDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)
- May 27 At Seattle Seawolves 7 pm CDT Network: Cox/AT&T
- June 3 Home vs. Glendale Raptors 3 pm CDT Network: Cox/AT&T
- June 9 Home vs. San Diego Legion 3 pm CDT Network: COX
- June 16 At Utah Warriors 3 pm CDT Network: CBSSN (GAME OF THE WEEK)