The Houston SaberCats play Austin Elite Rugby tonight (Jan. 11) at 8 pm CT at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas. It is Faith & Family Night and groups of 10 or more get a 20% admission discount.
The SaberCats will play one more preseason match on January 19 against the Glendale Raptors at Constellation Field before facing Austin Elite Rugby in the Major League Rugby regular season opener for both teams. The January 26th match is at 8 pm and will be broadcast on ESPN+, Facebook Watch, and KUBE. Austin Elite Rugby will travel to face the Dallas Reds in their second preseason match next Saturday.
The SaberCats have scaled back their exhibition season from last year. The MLR regular season is 16 games in 2019 and teams will need to have many players contributing during the season. Players that are not on the match-day squad may play for the West Houston Lions in the USA Rugby Club Division 1.
The Houston SaberCats have named an experienced side as starters and will integrate a number of international players and newer players into the match as reserves.
Austin Elite Rugby has officially announced the signing of 11 players and will be releasing more names shortly. Five players in the starting XV have joined the team this season. Simon Courcoul is from France, Josh and Travis Larsen from Canada, Dominique Bailey from the Chicago Lions, and Andres Vilaseca is an Uruguay National team center.
Austin Elite has a very experienced replacement front row in the reserves and will integrate other players into the match as reserves. Michael Nieuwenhuysen joins the club from Canada and played with the BC Bears.
Houston SaberCats: 1 Jake Turnbull 2 Pat O’Toole 3 Charlie Connolly 4 Robert Meeson 5 Matt Trouville (C) 6 Chris Coyle 7 Cecil Garber 8 Alex Elkins 9 Connor Murphy 10 Sam Windsor 11 Joshua Vici 12 Conor Mills 13 Osea Kolinisau 14 Malacchi Esdale 15 Zach Pangelinan 16 Liam Scott Andrews 17 Jamie Dever 18 Matt Almeida 19 Chris Parker 20 Luke Beauchamp 21 Ayron Schramm 22 Santiago Arata 23 Kieran Farmer 24 Irving Caramo 25 Joe Kelly 26 Roddrick Waters + Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick, Defense Coach Neil Kelly, Backs Coach Sam Windsor (See #10), Skills Coach Paul Emerick
Austin Elite Rugby: 1: Simon Courcoul (#25) 2: Chris Schade 3: Mason Pedersen 4: Ben Mitchell (C) 5: Josh Larsen 6: Kyle Breytenbach 7: Dominique Bailey 8: Travis Larsen 9: Mickael Romera 10: Tim Guillimin 11: Reece Czarnecki 12: Andres Vilaseca 13: Sione Fangaiuiha 14: Alex Faison Donahoe 15: Zinzan Elan-Puttick 16 Brendan Rams (#18) 17 Juan Echeverria 18 LaRome White 19 Craig Welborn 20 Brian Welborn 21 Mohamed Moe (#24) 22 Aden McMullen (No#) 23 Michael Nieuwenhuysen (#11) + Head Coach Alain Hyardet
Houston SaberCats & Austin Elite Player Signings
Houston SaberCats have made signing announcements for the following players for 2019 that are not playing in this match: Uruguay National Team No 8 Alejandro Nieto, Uruguay National team prop Mateo Sanguinetti, Charlie Hewitt, Victor Comptat, Codi Jones, Max Tacket, and Gabe Romero.
Austin Elite Rugby has also announced the signing of Peni Tagive, Chilean Housscrumhalf Marcelo Torrealba, Moroccan wing Soheyl Jaoudat, South African Rikus Zwart, Uruguay prop Juan Echeverria, who is with the National team camp, and former NOLA Gold No. 8 Sebastián Kalm.