Austin Elite Rugby re-signed Marcelo Torrealba for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old scrumhalf from Santiago, Chile (25 in May) is 5’7″ and 180 lbs.
“Torrealba was the leading points scorer for the AG’s in the truncated 2020 season; accounting for 28 of the team’s 104 total points. Torrealba started the first four matches at scrumhalf for the AG’s totaling 314 minutes.” The arrival of Samoan World Cup scrumhalf Pele Cowley saw Torrealba as a reserve for their final match of the season and their first win.
“Torrealba tallied 106 meters on 19 carries while also racking up 28 tackles at a 75.6% made tackle percentage. Torrealba is quick to the breakdown, elusive in space, and displays a consistent and accurate pass from the base. Though Torrealba’s biggest impact seemed to come in the kicking game. He slotted 13/14 goal kicks and booted 17 kicks from hand for 426 meters.”
During 2019 he played 414 minutes in 12 matches and scored one try. He carried 30 times for 181 meters, made 3 linebreaks, 4 offloads, kicked 29 times for 693 meters, and made 48 tackles.
Following the 2019 MLR season, Marcelo played both Xvs and sevens with the Chile National team. He played in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and trained with the National XVs team.
Marcelo attended Grange School and began playing rugby at age 5 with the school team. He has attended the Universidad Nacional Andres Bello since 2015.
In 2012 he moved to New Zealand and attended Southland High School where he played rugby. Two years later, he returned to Chile to begin training for the Condores Sevens team.
He made his debut for Los Condores in December 2014 and has played in a number of Sevens tournaments. He was an integral member of the team in winning the gold medal at Juegos Bolivarjanos in 2017. That year he received the Condor de Oro Award, as the Rugby Player of the Year, by the Chilean Circle of Sports Journalists. He also has played for the Chile Under-20s.
In 2017 he also played in the Oktober Sevens and helped the team beat New Zealand in the Silicon Valley Sevens and was named 1 0f 50 ‘Heroes of Spirit’ by La Tercera.
In January 2018 he played in the Seven de Vina del Mar and the Punte del Este Sevens. He then played in the HSBC World Sevens Series, USA Sevens and in the Canada Sevens.
Marcelo also played club rugby for the Old Boys and helped the team win the 2017 Chilean Club Championship at wing. In 2018 he played for the National 15s team against the Maori All Blacks, his lone appearance.
Marcelo attended the World Rugby Combine in Glendale, Colorado and this has led to him joining Austin Elite Rugby for the 2019 MLR season.
Backs Coach CJ De Wet said that “Marcelo was a standout player at the World Rugby combine. We feel that as an international for Chile his experience and quality will be invaluable to our squad. His dynamism and enthusiasm with the ball in hand will add a different dimension to our attack. Us coaches and admin. are excited to welcome Marcelo to our team.”
Austin Gilgronis Comments
“I’m happy to be back with the AG’s for another season, we’re starting to build something special here in Austin,” says Marcelo Torrealba.
AG’s new head coach Sam Harris spoke highly of Torrealba’s game. “Marcelo provides excellent service from the base of the ruck, he’s a quality goal kicker and a tenacious defender,” says Harris.
“Torrealba is still chasing his first cap and thought this summer’s Americas Rugby Championship would have been a great opportunity to crack the squad. Chile was scheduled to play the United States on August 22nd at Bold Stadium, the AG’s home pitch in Austin; though the competition was canceled due to COVID19.”
“After season cancellation, Torrealba stayed in Austin and competed to represent the AG’s in the MLR Virtual Championship. He continues to train tirelessly and has found a new home on the golf course. Torrealba helped the AG’s to a road victory on the golf course against the Houston Sabercats at the inaugural Texas Tee Off.”