The Austin Blacks are hosting Australia Day at Burr Field on Saturday. The Austin Blacks are hosting the Austin Huns D1, D2, and D3 sides, the University of Texas plays BYU and Four Points Rugby Club plays Westlake High School.
Austin Herd will play the Colorado Raptors at 4 pm CT.
A share of the proceeds donated to Red Cross Australia.
Austin Herd Head Coach Brent Semmons has named his squad for his first preseason match against the Colorado Raptors. The Herd had a scrimmage with the Austin Huns on January 4, winning 57-12.
The front row has Old Blue prop, LaRome White, pairing with Uruguay international Juan Echeverria at prop with Brazil hooker Wilton Rebolo. South African Rikus Zwart and Fijian Potu Leavasa are the locks. The back row has former Western Oregon University and Willamette Sharks center converted to flanker. He is paired with Canadian Moe Abdelmonem with Fijian Lino Sauitoga, who played with the Marist Rugby Club and Lautoka Maroons.
The backs include Chile scrumhalf Marcelo Torrealba with captain Zinzan Elan-Puttick switching from fullback to flyhalf. That allows Uruguay fullback Rodrigo Silva to play his more natural position. Sione Fanaiuiha, who played for the Austin Blacks, as well as in Australia, pairs with Peni Tagive, who played with the Wests and with Old Blue. The wings include Reece Czarnecki and Corey Jones. Reece played for the Austin Blacks and for Davenport University, while Corey has been a rugby sevens sensation and played with Southern Pines and the Austin Huns.
To read about the players on the matchday 23, click on the player links for article profiles. An extensive bio for Colby Stevens, who has an Associate contract with the Austin Herd, is below.
The 28-year-old scrumhalf is 5’7″ and 180 lbs. Colby signed with the team in 2019 ahead of their final regular-season match against the Seattle Seawolves. The Saint Mary’s of California graduate played with San Francisco Golden Gate and is currently with the Life West Gladiators.
The Colorado Raptors were in Las Vegas for a week-long training camp. They scrimmaged the Toronto Arrows and then beat Rugby ATL 32-26.
The Raptors have a seasoned side with player profiles included below. Steve Kara is a hooker/prop with the Glendale Merlins.
Austin Herd: 1 LaRome White 2 Wilton Rebolo 3 Juan Echeverria 4 Rikus Zwart 5 Potu Leavasa 6 Dominic Akina 7 Moe Abdelmonem 8 Lino Saunitoga 9 Marcelo Torrealba 10 Zinzan Elan-Puttick (C) 11 Reece Czarnecki 12 Sione Fangaiuiha 13 Peni Tagive 14 Corey Jones 15 Rodrigo Silva 16 Skyler Adams 17 Chris Schade 18 Mason Pedersen 19 Maikeli Naramaitonga 21 Colby Stevens 22 Gabe Farley 23 Rodrick Waters
Colorado Raptors: 1 Xendy Tatibouet 2 Chad Gough 3 Kelepi Fifita 4 Luke White 5 Dakota O’Neil 6 Brendan Daly7 Connor Cook 8 Michael Curry 9 Carlo De Nysschen 10 Ata Malifa 11 John Ryberg 12 Robbie Petzer 13 Chad London 14 Mason Emerson 15 Seth Halliman 16 Steve Karas 17 Marco Fepulea’i 18 Sam Slade 19 Michael Stewart 20 Sean Yacoubian 21 Tomas Quinlan 22 Mika Kruse 23 Nick Boyer
The D3 Horde kick off at 11 with a battle between the 1st & 2nd place Central Conference teams. D2 get it back going again with a 12:45 start time. In another 1st & 2nd place battle, D1 will put their 2-0 start on the line beginning at 2:15.