The Houston SaberCats added long-time Dallas Reds player Kelly Kolberg for their 2019 Major League Rugby season opener at Austin Elite Rugby last weekend. The 34-year-old wing/fullback is 5’11” and 200 lbs.
Kelly is from Dallas, Texas and played with the Dallas Reds since he was 16 years old in 2001. In high school, he played football, baseball, wrestling, and was a pole vaulter, but stopped all these activities prior to his Junior year to concentrate on rugby.
Kelly is well known both nationally and in Texas. He played for the Texas Rugby Union Under-19s in 2001 and 2002, the 2003 NAWIRA, and the USA Under-19s against Canada in 2003 in a Rugby World Cup Championship Qualifier. In 2004 he played in a qualifier against Guyana and in the IRB 20013 and 2004 U19s Championships. In 2004 he was named the USA U19s tournament MVP.
In 2002 and 2003 he played for the Texas Select side, in 2003 and 2004 for the West 15s, and in 2004 and 2007 for the West 7s.
In 2005 and 2006, as well as in 2008 and 2009, Kelly traveled to Dunedin, New Zealand and played with Harbour RFC 1st XVs. In 2007 he was a member of the Eagles 7s pool and attended the Eagles XVs camp in 2011 and in 2014.
Kelly has played in numerous rugby 7s tournaments, including the Republic of Texas 7s, the 2010 Atlantis 7s tour to play in the Havana 7s in Cuba, and Tiger 7s tours to the Central Coast 7s in Australias, Shanghai 7s, Twice at the Cancun 7s, and also at the Rugbytown 7s. He also played at the 2014 Elite City 7s and in the USA Club 7s Nationals in 2018.
Kelly helped the Dallas Reds advance to the USA Rugby Club 15s Nationals from 2010-2016 and also for a few 7s Nationals.
With the 2019 Americas Rugby Championship beginning the second week of the 2019 MLR season, MLR teams either signed players with this in mind or have added players to meet needs due to unavailability or as the result of an injury. Kelly is a seasoned veteran, who was called on to open the 2019 season as a reserve for the Houston SaberCats against Austin Elite Rugby.