LA Giltinis signed Charlie Abel for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 28-year-old tighthead prop (29 in January) is 5’11” and 260 lbs. He previously has played hooker and loosehead prop.
Charlie attended St Edmunds College – Canberra where he played rugby. He comes from a rugby family, whose brothers and cousins played with the Easts in 2016. His father also was a team manager with the ACT Brumbies.
In 2016/2017 Charlie played in France with CS Beaune. In 2017/2018 he played with the Manly Marlins in the NSW Shute Shield, in 2018/2019 with NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship, and with Gordon in the Shute Shield. In 2019/2020 he continued with Gordon, winning the Shute Shield. He also played with the Sydney Rays, trained with the Waratahs in 2020, and signed with the Melbourne Rebels for Super Rugby Australia.
LA Giltinis Comments
“The thing that excites me most is starting something brand new in Los Angeles and knowing that DC (Coleman) can bring it all to life,” Abel said.
“One of DC’s very best traits is that he has high expectations of what he and the players can do.
“He pushes everyone hard, drives work rate in everyone and he expects winning.
“I’ve seen clips of games in the United States. Rugby could be massive, almost unstoppable, and MLR can only grow and grow.”
The Coleman touch has brought out the best in Abel.
Abel admits he’s fitter, gets through more work and has polished his skills in two seasons with Coleman, and wants the trend to continue in Los Angeles.
Being able to improve under former British and Irish Lions prop Alex Corbisiero, the Giltinis’ prize signing as scrum coach, is a big attraction.
“You are always learning as a prop and you can only get better being around the players and the coaches the Giltinis are signing,” Abel said.
“I got to learn a lot from a Test prop (Wallaby Cam Blades) as scrum coach at Gordon and I’m really looking forward to all I can soak up from Alex.
“I want to do my bit too in youth development and coaching with young players around LA so hopefully that’s an area I can get into for the club.”
Abel is from a rugby-mad family. Brothers Robbie and Jacob also play professionally in Australia.
“Charlie will be a real gem for us in MLR,” Coleman said.
“He will focus on playing tighthead prop but he can actually play all three front-row positions which gives us so much versatility.
“He’s talented with ball-in-hand, can whack in defence and he’s good at the breakdown to go with a strong set-piece.”
The Giltinis will kick off their MLR campaign on the weekend of March 20, 2021, with tickets being available by the end of this year.