Austin Herd re-signed Peni Tagive for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 31-year-old wing is 6’4″, and 215lbs.
Peni played 372 minutes in 6 matches in 2019. He carried 27 times for 21 meters, had 4 linebreaks, 2 tackle breaks, 4 offloads, and made 48 tackles.
The Australian born center of Fijian descent was born in Campbelltown, New South Wales. He went to St. Gregorys College and played junior football for East Campbelltown Eagles. He also played rugby league for SG Ball Under-18s and Jersey Flegg Under-20s for the Western Suburbs Magpies. In 2006, he was selected to the Australia Schoolboys for a tour.
After taking a year off in 2007 to recover from shoulder surgery, Tagive made his first-grade debut in 2008, playing for the Wests Tigers in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) competition. Tagive also was selected for the 2008 Fiji Rugby World Cup training squad.
He then signed a two year deal with the St George Illawarra Dragons, National Rugby League Team, but a knee injury ended his season. Returning to form, Tagive signed a three-year deal with the Sydney Roosters, National Rugby League Team, however, at the end of 2012 he retired from rugby league to focus on his education. During 2012 he also played for the Newtown Jets in the NSW Cup Grand Final.
Tagive moved to the United States in 2012 to play collegiate football at Baylor University as a defensive end. While there, Baylor’s won their first ever and back-to-back Big 12 Championship wins in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology.
Following his graduation, he returned to Australia and played with the Wests and helped the Canberra Viking win the 2015 National Rugby Championship.
Tagive then moved to Scotland in 2016 after signing a contract with the Glasgow Warriors and was loaned to Currie, playing in the Scottish Premiership.
He returned to Texas in 2017 and played for the Austin Huns and was part of Tiger Rugby’s Hong Kong 10s squad in 2018. He also was part of the Eagles training squad for 7s and for 15s, however, an injury during training camp for the 2018 Rugby World Cup 7s, placed his national team hopes on hold.
Following his recovery, Tagive played for Old Blue Rugby Club in New York, going undefeated in the 2018 Division 1 American Premiership and winning the Elite Cup XVs Championship.
Austin Elite 2019 Comments
“My dreams of being a USA Eagle are still alive,” said Ratu Peni Tagive.
“We were fortunate enough to work with Peni during his time with the Austin Huns,” said Backs Coach CJ De Wet. “His size, speed, and offload ability were impressive, so much so that he earned time at the HPC in Chula Vista. His leadership and rugby IQ will elevate our strong squad and we are excited to welcome Peni back to Austin.”