The Houston SaberCats face the Colorado Raptors to start week one of the 2020 Major League Rugby season at AVEVA Stadium. Kickoff is at 12:00 ET and May be viewed on ESPNews.
The Houston SaberCats and the Colorado Raptors have the only dedicated rugby only field in the United States in professional rugby.
Both teams are in the Major League Rugby Western Conference and will face each other in-home and away matches during the season. The Western Conference teams will also play each Eastern Conference team once with three home and three away matches.
Both teams have undergone significant changes since last season as the league continues to improve. Following the regular sixteen match season which includes one bye week, the top three teams will advance to the playoffs in both the Western and Eastern Conferences. The playoffs will have the second and third seeds facing each other with the number one seed having a bye the first week. The following week the one seed will face the winner of the previous week’s match. The Conference champions will then play for the MLR shield.
In the preseason, the Houston SaberCats had two preseason matches and lost to the Tasman Mako 29-19 and to NOLA Gold 47-12 in Houston. The SaberCats used the matches to look at player combinations and to prepare for the regular season. They looked like an improved team against the Tasman Mako development side.
The Colorado Raptors also played two preseason matches and had a scrimmage while in Nevada with Toronto Arrows. The claimed a 32-26 win over Rugby ATL in Henderson, Nevada and a narrow 22-21 over the Austin Gilgronis.
Newly acquired De Wet Roos will captain the SaberCats, while Luke White does the same with the Raptors. Get to know the players by clicking on the DJCoil Rugby article links.
Squads With Player Article Links
Houston SaberCats: 1 Valdemar Lee-Lo 2 Diego Fortuny 3 Charlie Connolly 4 Kyle Breytenbach 5 Victor Comptat 6 Cecil Garber 7 Diego Magno (VC) 8 Adriaan Booysen 9 Dewet Roos (C) 10 Sam Windsor 11 Malacchi Esdale 12 Tiaan Loots 13 Matias Freyre 14 Zach Pangelinan 15 Osea Kolinisau 16 Campbell ‘CJ’ Burke 17 Boyd Wiggins 18 Nicolas Solveyra 19 Rob Meeson 20 Luke Beauchamp 21 Jake Christmann 22 Taylor Howden 23 Kieran Farmer Head Coach Paul Healy
Colorado Raptors: 1 Sakaria Taulafo 2 Chad Gough 3 Marco Fepulea’i 4 Michael Curry 5 Luke White (C) 6 Brendan Daly 7 Michael Stewart 8 Sam Slade 9 Carlo De Nysschen 10 Tomas Quinlan 11 John Ryberg 12 Robbie Petzer 13 Chad London 14 Mika Kruse 15 Mason Emerson16 Jay Finau 17 Xendy Tatibouet 18 Kelepi Fifita 19 Dakota O’Neil 20 Connor Cook 21 Ata Malifa 22 Rene Ranger 23 Nick Boyer