The Houston SaberCats re-signed Malacchi Esdale for the 2021 Major League Rugby season, his fourth with the club. The 25-year-old wing/center (26 in May) is 6’2″, and 210 lbs.
Malacchi is second to Sam Windsor (29) for the most career matches played for the SaberCats and tied with Cecil Garber at 28. He started 3 matches on the left-wing and played in another as a reserve in 2020. He played 249 minutes and scored one try.
Malacchi is also in residency with the USA Rugby Men’s National Team Sevens Program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. He has a dream to play in the Olympics. He is represented by High-Performance Management Group and may have signed the first American sponsorship contract with an American rugby company at NoodleBagz.
The USA National Team came calling in 2020 and he played for the USA Falcons Sevens team at the Coral Coast Sevens in Fiji in January 2020.
During the 2019 MLR season, Malacchi played 1160 minutes in 15 matches as a starter and scored 4 tries. He carried 95 times for 915 meters, had 11 line breaks, 8 tackle breaks, 9 offloads, and made 89 tackles. In 2018 he played 578 minutes in 8 matches, 7 as a starter.
Malacchi is originally from Newark, Delaware, and then moved to Naples, Florida where he attended Naples High School until graduating in 2013. While in high school he was a versatile athlete. He played wide receiver in football and achieved national recognition. He also played basketball and was a sprinter and high jumper in track. While in high school, he began playing rugby with the Naples Bears Rugby Club.
After graduating in 2013, he attended ASA Junior College Football where he played safety in football. He then transferred to the University of Miami and later to the University of Central Florida where he continued to play safety for the football teams.
Malacchi also played rugby with the Orlando Griffins, as a center, most recently in 2017 prior to signing with the Houston SaberCats in August 2017. He played wing the SaberCats during the 2018 major League Rugby season with occasional appearances at the outside center.
Malacchi’s athletic prowess and speed have made him a scoring threat for the SaberCats. While in high school, his 40-yard dash was 4.77 seconds and his verticle leap was 30 inches according to ESPN. While these stats are dated, he is one of the fastest players in the League.