Austin Herd signed Sione Fangaiuiha for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old wing is 6’3′ and 220 lbs.
During the 2019 season, he played 1011 minutes in 14 matches and scored 2 tries. He had 2 linebreaks, 2 tackle breaks, made 6 offloads and kicked twice for 46 meters. He also carried 44 times for 344 meters and made 119 tackles. Since 2018 he has earned 19 caps with the team.
Austin Herd had one preseason match against the Houston SaberCats winning 14-10 on January 11, 2019, as Sione started at the outside center.
Sione Fangaiuiha grew up in Canberra, Australia and has been playing rugby since the age of 10. His past teams include the Tuggeranong Vikings under 18s, Wests Lions rugby first-grade side, ACT rugby league schoolboys, the Canberra Raiders Rugby LeagueU20s, and the Austin Blacks for USA Club 7s. In 2017 he was named as a USA Collegiate All American honorable mention, and Collegiate All American First 7’s team.
Sione joined the Austin Elite Rugby in 2018 as an outside center and has played wing. He attended Arkansas State University and graduated with a degree in computer science.
Sione’s College rugby career was split between playing for Lindenwood University from 2013-2016 and included a National Championship in 2015. He then transferred to Arkansas State University and has played there from the Fall 2016 season to his graduation in December 2017.
During the Spring 2017 season with the Red Wolves, the team made it to the Varsity Cup Final against Cal where he scored a try. Arkansas State also made it the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship 2017 Quarterfinals, losing to his former team.
Sione Fangaiuiha 2018 Comments
Sione said to Austin Elite Rugby that “I am very excited for this opportunity to play professionally for Austin Elite not only to play alongside very talented players from around the world, but I am also looking forward to learning from them and the coaching staff.”
Sione commented to DJCoil Rugby that “I feel very blessed and fortunate enough to be part of a professional league like Major League Rugby to contribute to the growth of the game. I’m very excited to join the Austin Elite Rugby franchise and to play alongside some very talented players and some world-class coaches and staff.
The quality of talent and athleticism I’ve seen throughout college and club rugby here in the U.S. is right up there with the quality back home, so I know it won’t be an easy ride. It will definitely contribute to improving my game as a player and I’m sure it goes to other players too.
I’ve been away from home for a long time and it is hard at times, but I am grateful for Lindenwood University, Arkansas State University, other rugby clubs, friends, and of course my family. They have gone beyond efforts to take care of me and motivate me to get to where I am today and I am grateful for that.”