Austin Gilgronis Signs Jeff Hassler

Austin Gilgronis signed Jeff Hassler for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old wing/center is 5’10” and 205 lbs.
Jeff started one match at the outside center for the Seattle Seawolves during the truncated 2020 season.

Jeff joined the Seawolves during the 2019 MLR season. He carried 27 times for 345 meters, had three line breaks, two tries, two offloads, and one tackle break. He also completed 25 tackles as a member of our back three over five games.

The Okotoks, Alberta nativeattendedHoly Trinity Academy and began playing rugby when he was 16 years old. He played both Canadian football and rugby and played for the Canada Under-17s while in school.
He attended the University of Saskatchewan and played two years of football for the Huskies. He was selected to Team World in 2010 for the International Federation of American Football in a game against the U.S. He also played rugby at the University and represented Canada on their Under-20s team, where he made 8 appearances in 2010-2011 and scored 8 tries.
In the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 HSBC World Sevens Series, he represented Canada on the National Sevens team, making 15 appearances. He also played for the Senior Men’s XVs, earning 27 caps, starting 24, including two in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and playing in all three matches in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. His final test was against South Africa on October 8 at Kobe, Japan.
Jeff played his amateur rugby for the Foothills Lions and for James Bay Athletic Association. He also played representative rugby for the prairie Wolfpack in 2011-2012. He played professionally for the Ospreys for five years from 2013-2018, making 74 appearances and scoring 25 tries. Following a trial with the Harlequins in 2018, he took a year off and joined the Seattle Seawolves for the remainder of the 2019 season, as well as the 2020 season.

Austin Gilgronis Comments

Austin Gilgronis is elated to announce the signing of the world-renowned winger, Jeff Hassler. Hassler raised the 2019 MLR Championship with the Seattle Seawolves and brings with him loads of international experience along with an exuberant personality. 

“From the coaches’ opening pitch they’ve preached this mantra of having fun and enjoying not only playing rugby but this uniquely experiential city,” says Hassler. “That was exactly what I was looking for, and I think the team they’re building in Austin that’s made up of characters that are wanting to have a really memorable experience this season.”

A well-timed phone call from Canadian international teammate Phil Mack fell on open ears from Hassler. The Seattle Seawolves’ player-coach Mack lured in Hassler with a half promise, “Come play with me in Seattle and we’ll have a run at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and if it doesn’t work out we’ll hang em’ up.” Hassler signed on the dotted line, scored 8 tries in 16 Seawolves appearances, won the MLR Championship, and started all four matches for Canada at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

This offseason Hassler got another call from his agent. AGs head coach Sam Harris had expressed interest in Hassler. “I knew Austin had been in a bit of disarray the last couple seasons but in talking with some of the Canadian boys there was the word that things were really getting turned around,” says Hassler. “I’ve been really liking the signings and the buzz around the team and I just can’t wait to get down to Austin.”

Sam Harris liked what he had heard from Hassler, “Jeff adds to the AGs weirdness with this alternative lifestyle and his wild spirit he’ll fit right into the city’s wavelength,” Harris laughs. “Jeff comes from a different angle, he’s a fierce competitor who can sniff out an opportunity and he’s a premier finisher.”

When asked if the head coach had purposefully signed flamboyant characters Harris countered, “Ok while it may appear that I have actively recruited characters, I actually just intentionally looked for good blokes that work hard and are hungry for success,” says Harris. “Fortunately a high percentage of these guys have charismatic personalities.” 

Hassler hopes to win a championship in Austin, but more than anything he wants to make the most of his time exploring Texas. “Lifting that shield in Seattle was the first real championship I had ever won and if we can do it down in Austin it will be so sweet,” says Hassler. “But there are so many small victories to be had in Austin and for me, that’s what I’m looking forward to most.” 

Hassler loves to explore, whether it’s hiking, sailing, scuba diving, bungee jumping, or flying. Well, Jeff, you’re in the right place. 

Welcome to the AGs, Jeff Hassler!

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant