LA Giltinis signed Bill Meakes through the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old center (30 in February) is 6’2″ and 207 lbs.
Bill was born in Manly, New South Wales, Australia, and attended St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill from 2003-2008. In his final year, he represented NSW in the Australian School Rugby Championship.
After graduation, he played club rugby with Northern Suburbs from 2009-2012 and with Randwick in 2013. In 2011 he represented the Australia U20s in the IRB Junior World Cup Championship, finishing in third place. During the 2011-2012 IRB Sevens World Series, he also played for the Australian Sevens Team. From 2011-2012 he attended the University of New South Wales, earning a Diploma in Business.
In 2013, Bill moved to England and played with Clifton Rugby Club in Bristol through 2014. This led to his signing an Academy contract with Gloucester and an English Premiership one in 2015-2016.
In 2016-2017 Bill played with the Perth Spirit and in 2017 with the Super Rugby Western Force. In 2018 he played in the National Rugby Championship with Melbourne Rising and from 2018-2020 with the Super Rugby Melbourne Rebels. Recently in October 2020, he signed a short-term contract with the London Irish as injury cover, but in January will travel to Los Angeles to join the Giltinis for the 2021 MLR season.
LA Giltinis Comments
The LA Giltinis have powered up their backline with the signing of seasoned Australian centre Billy Meakes on a two-year deal.
Today’s announcement locks in a proven performer with vast experience in Super Rugby as well as the elite level of English rugby.
Luring a player of Meakes’ caliber to Major League Rugby is further proof that the maturing competition in the United States and Canada is stepping up to rival competitions as an attractive destination for elite players.
“The timing to head to Los Angeles is ideal for me and the opportunity to join something so fresh as a new club is really appealing,” Meakes said from London.
“It’s a start-up business in sport. The Giltinis are investing in people and when you get the right people you are on the way to establishing the right club culture with an open and honest group.
“Some of the best things I see are the diversity of players, from 19-year-olds to seasoned Test players, a super successful coach (Darren Coleman), the vision to do things differently and the youth development to turn rugby into a beast in LA.”
Meakes revealed how significant the player’s role was within the foundation period of the Club and the opportunity that lay ahead for all involved.
“MLR is the sleeping giant of world rugby and I think plenty of people are excited to see what things look like a few years from now.
“I see a big role for players at the Giltinis in the way the club grows the pathways into rugby and that community connection is something I want to be involved in.”
Coach Coleman is delighted to have Meakes on board as a player and as a team-builder.
“As a centre, Billy is an all-rounder because he can influence games with ball-in-hand and footwork or grab key steals at the breakdown,” Coleman said.
“He’s excited to have a footprint on the setting up of the club as part of a different rugby experience for him as a seasoned professional.”