Houston SaberCats Release
The Houston SaberCats are set to host the Tasman Mako on January 18, 2020, at AVEVA Stadium. This international exhibition against the Mitre 10 Cup team from New Zealand will be presented by Air New Zealand.
“This will be a great start to our 2020 season at AVEVA Stadium,” says SaberCats President JT Onyett. “The Mako play at a very high level and this will be a can’t miss event.”
The Tasman Rugby Union was founded in December 2005 and are a feeder team for Canterbury Super Rugby franchise based in Christchurch. They won the 2013 ITM Championship Cup and in 2014 contested the ITM Cup Premiership Division Final. In 2016 and 2017 they participated in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership Division finals.
As a Rugby Union, Tasman has produced six All Blacks,12 Maori All Blacks, eight NZ Sevens players, and three Black Fern Sevens, players. One of their All Blacks, Tim Perry, will be the tour captain and lead the team against the SaberCats.
“It is a privilege to lead the Mako on their first overseas tour and we’re looking forward to the games in Houston and Seattle in January,” said Perry. “It is an incredible opportunity for the next generation of Mako players to play competitively in the United States and a unique opportunity for the Tasman Rugby Union for which we are all grateful.”
After the match with the SaberCats, the Mako will travel to Seattle to take on the MLR Champion Seattle Seawolves the following week.
“The Tasman Rugby Union board quickly accepted the invitation from Houston SaberCats and Seattle Seawolves to play in the United States in January 2020,” says Tasman Rugby Union CEO Tony Lewis. “We believe this a unique opportunity not only for the Tasman Mako region to showcase our rugby talent but also for the region’s exporters to promote themselves in these two markets. The players are excited about the opportunity to be the first Mako team to tour overseas and, more importantly, to play against two Major League Rugby teams. I’m personally looking forward to accompanying the team and meeting the people behind SaberCats and Seawolves rugby.”
Individual tickets for this international exhibition will go on sale in December. All SaberCats season ticket holders will receive their seat as part of their season ticket package.
“We always want to give more value to our season ticket holders, sponsors and all associated with the Houston SaberCats,” says Onyett. “Securing this match against the Mako does just that. The Mako and SaberCats will hold an open joint-practice before the match and the Tasman Rugby Union will work with the SaberCats Academy at various community events surrounding the match.”
The SaberCats will begin their third MLR season on February 8, 2020, at AVEVA Stadium. Season tickets are on sale now and include the regular season, Mako game and one TBD exhibition match. For more information visit www.houstonsabercats.com