Austin Herd re-signed Zinzan Elan-Puttick for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old fullback is 5’11″ and 195 lbs and was a key member of the 2019 and 2018 teams.
During the 2019 season, he played 1014 minutes in 13 matches and scored 6 points. He had 5 linebreaks, 11 tackle breaks, and 10 offloads. He kicked 15 times for 505 meters, made 101 tackles, and had 105 carries for 929 meters. Since 2018 he played in 18 matches with the team.
Elan-Puttick was born in Hartswater, South Africa and moved to Bloemfontein in 2004, where he attended Grey College.
According to Pat Clifton of Rugby Today, he moved to Dalhart, Texas, a suburb of Amarillo, at age 16. He played football in high school and In 2011-2012 he attended West Texas A&M University where he played football.
Elan-Puttick then transferred to Arkansas State to play rugby from 2012-2106, missing the 2014/15 season with a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
The Red Wolves were the USA Rugby Collegiate National Sevens Champions during 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Zinzan was honored as a member of the All-Tournament team. In 2013 and 2014 he was honored as a USA Rugby Collegiate Sevens All-American. In 2015-2016, he was also selected by USA Rugby as a first-team Collegiate Sevens All-American and was an honorable mention for rugby 15s.
This Is American Rugby lists him in a Pool C preview of the 2013 USA Rugby National Club Sevens Championship, playing for WE Rugby, formerly Woodland Exiles in the 2013 USA Rugby National Club Sevens Championships. Ultimate Rugby Sevens, indicated that at the Rugbytown 7s in 2013, he played for the USA Collegiate All-Americans, scoring a try and adding a conversion in beating the Glendale Raptors 31-12 in the Final.
After the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship of 2016, Robert Zinzan Elan-Puttick was selected as a member of the 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) Dream Team by the Evan Lappen of Rugby Today.
Shaun Potgieter, Rugby Head Coach for Arkansas State, said to A-State News that “Zinzan has been a pleasure to have as a teammate and to coach. He had an outstanding senior year on the pitch and led by example as a captain of the team. I am extremely proud of his accomplishments while at A-State. There are some big shoes to fill for the next player taking over Zinzan’s role. I wish him the best moving forward and hope to see him in the red, white, and blue jersey in the near future.”
After finishing his collegiate rugby career, he then played with the Glendale Raptors Club Sevens team in 2016.
During 2017 Zinzan played for the Austin Huns Rugby at fullback and contributed toward the team’s USA Rugby Division I Club National Championship.
Austin Elite Rugby described his addition to the team indicating that he is a “talented, hardworking player with a deep love of the game.”
Zinzan Elan-Puttick 2018 Signing Comments
Zinzan commented that “I think some of us have been fortunate enough to have felt that professional setting this past year playing for the Austin Huns. We were put in a professional environment with amazing coaches that tried their best to make us grow as players. Adjustments that need to be made are the fact that we will have to work harder as a unit collectively to become better and build on last seasons success, and then to motivate oneself personally to put in the individual training to get better. The demands are what any rugby player can dream of, literally to eat, sleep, and train rugby. The countless hours in the gym and on the field will be well worth it in the end if one stays disciplined and focused throughout the process.”
“I attended the combine last year and was fortunate enough to have made the squad. Since then we’ve built quite a good squad and it’s something we would like to continue into this up and coming season. So I feel as though Austin is a good fit for me because I’ve grown and learned from coaches and players alike in this past year, and I’m looking forward to yet another year of playing rugby in Austin colors.”