Houston SaberCats & Chris Coyle
The Houston SaberCats have re-signed 26-year-old flanker Chris Coyle for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. He is 6’1″ tall and weighs 230 pounds. His bio was extensively discussed in the March 2018 article below.
It is expected that with 2018 team captain Kyle Sumsion leaving the team to become an Assistant Men’s Rugby coach at the United States Military Academy, that Coyle will see increased playing time in 2019.
Chris has also been one of the Houston SaberCats Academy coaches. The team is very active in the Houston Community with many players actively involved in promoting youth, high school, college and club rugby.
DJCoil Rugby March 2018 article
The Houston SaberCats have added a former Arizona State University football tight end at flanker. Chris Coyle will be 26 years old tomorrow and gains his first start after a couple of appearances in the reserves. He is 6’1″ tall and weighs 205 pounds.
Coyle is from Moorpark, California and attended Arizona State University and was the third all-time tight end in receptions with 90, as well as in 4th place in touchdowns with 9. He received NFL interest both the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots, and the New Orleans Saints, before signing as a free agent with the Texans. A minor shoulder injury put him behind at practice and he was released prior to the first pre-season game.
Coyle then turned to rugby. He went to Australia and played with the Gungahlin Eagles. He made his representative debut for the ACT Griffins in Canberra in 2016, just 18 months after trading the gridiron for the John I Dent Cup. “His goal was to try to win a place in the ACT Brumbies squad in a bid to win a Super Rugby contract.”
Griffins and Gungahlin coach Dan Atkins said that “Chris was as green as green could be rugby player when he first turned up. To be honest, I thought it was a nice one-year in-betweener for him and I thought he’d probably go back to NFL. But to his credit, he’s stuck with it and he has probably been one of the best back-rowers in the [Canberra competition] this year.”
“His lineout jumping is outstanding and his work-rate around the park is second to none. He’s constantly training and he’s going really well. For him to be on the side is just a massive credit to him for the work he’s done and he’s the type of guy who would really appreciate selection.”
With hard work, Coyle did make the Brumbies Preliminary Squad that competed in the Central Coast Sevens and then competed with the Brumbies 7s for the Australian nationals in Adelaide.
Chris Coyle is also a capped Eagles Sevens player.