Houston SaberCats Kieran Farmer
The Houston SaberCats re-signed flyhalf Kieran Farmer for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. Kieran is the youngest player in MLR, turning 20-years-old on November 5. He is 5’11”, weighs 168 pounds, and is originally from Aberdeen, Scotland.
Kieran’s family moved to Azerbaijan prior to moving to Houston. “I remember my dad taking me to a couple rugby games around town in Aberdeen but I didn’t start playing rugby until the family moved to Baku in Azerbaijan when I was six, and I fell in love with it there. A few years later, when receiving the news that we were leaving for Houston, I was devastated, thinking I would have to leave it all behind, but I was lucky enough to find a local club.”
While in Azerbaijan, he played for the Azerbaijan Tisa Titans from 2006-2011. He then played for Woodlands Youth Rugby Club from 2011-2017.
While attending Woodlands High School, he played football and was on the track team in addition to playing rugby. According to the Goff Rugby Report, Kieran started playing rugby with the Woodlands in 7th grade with the Under-13 age group, which was coached by David John Selby, winning MVP honors at flyhalf.
While in High School he was coached by Phil Beck. With Woodlands Youth Rugby, Kieran would earn MVP honors three times.
His Junior year in High School in 2016, Woodlands advanced to the Rugby Texas High School Championships, but an ACL injury in the State Semi-Finals, caused him to miss the Finals, with the team finishing in third in the State. The injury also caused him to miss the Texas select side at the Rocky Mountain Challenge.
The following year, the team went undefeated and won the Rugby Texas High School Championship. Both in 2016 and in 2017, Kieran was named the ‘Best Back in Texas‘.
At the high school championship match in May 2017, Sabercats head coach Justin Fitzpatrick attended and based on Kieran’s performance at flyhalf, invited him to the team’s Summer combine and he did well.
“Kieran had a great weekend for The Woodlands and they ultimately won the championship,” said Fitzpatrick, on VYPE’s Locker Talk Radio podcast.” “At the international level, it’s not unusual to see younger athletes make the jump to professionals as a 19 or 20-year-old. International rugby is a little bit different in that regard to American football.”
After the combine, the 19-years-old Kieran Farmer signed a contract for the Major league Rugby Houston SaberCats, making the jump from playing high school rugby in 2017 to playing professional rugby.
During the 2017 Summer, Kieran also was one of 26 athletes who traveled to New Zealand as part of the Hawkes’s Bay Rugby Academy. During his time there, he played for Napier Old Boys Marist Rugby Club.
During the 2018 MLR pre-season, Kieran played in 15 of the 16 matches, starting one. He also played as a reserve for all but one regular season match.
For now, Kieran is developing as a rugby player and is being mentored by Australian Sam Windsor, the starting flyhalf and team Backs Coach, who was a former Brumbies, Worcester and Ulster professional player. “Sam is great to work with and I’m learning a lot from him, but obviously the aim is to compete for that starting spot,’ says Farmer.
Farmer was also named to the 2018 Men’s Junior All-Americans (U20s) by Head Coach Scott Bracken for the two-game World Rugby Trophy qualification series against Canada’s U20s. The USA lost the series which was held in Houston, Texas on June 12th and June 16th.
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Kieran Farmer and Rugby Sevens
In November 2017 Kieran played in the New York Sevens, helping the Bulldogs win the Under-23s Cup.
In November and December 2018, he will again play rugby sevens in Dubai and Barbados for the Waterboys. Between those trips, he will be practicing with the SaberCats as the team prepares for the 2019 season.