Austin Gilgronis signed Kyle Breytenbach for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old lock (28 in April) is 6’5″ and 250 lbs.
Kyle originally re-signed with the Houston SaberCats for the 2021 season, however, in February, he opted to sit out the 2021 season after his wife Heather became pregnant. “Heather was still living in Austin and I would’ve been in Houston for five months plus traveling around, and that just wasn’t going to be feasible for us. So I made the decision to sit out, and I was going to have to miss the MLR season until the opportunity with AGs aligned for me and I took it.”
Kyle played 389 minutes and started all five matches for the Houston SaberCats during the truncated 2020 MLR season. He played for Austin Elite Rugby (now Austin Gilgronis) during his first two seasons. He was a key contributor for the team in 2019 and played in 15 of 16 matches where needed, at flanker, No.8, or lock. He played 863 minutes, carried the ball 79 times for 361 meters, had one tackle break, two offloads, and made 137 tackles. In 2018 he started all 8 matches, playing 612 minutes.
Kyle is from Phalaborwa, South Africa, and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Heather. He attended Frans du Toit High School and then went to Cape Peninsula University of Technology from 2014-2016 for Electrical Engineering. He also studied at NWU Pukke.
Kyle played rugby while in school and in 2014 played for Tygerberg in the Western Province RFU President’s Cup Super League A.
Kyle moved to Austin in 2016 and helped lead the team to the 2017 USA Rugby Club Division 1 National Championship. In 2016 and in 2017 he also played sevens with the Huns in the Club 7s Nationals.
In 2017 he joined Austin Elite Rugby (now Austin Herd) and helped the young team contend for the playoffs in 2018 until just falling short the final week of the season. The rugby future is bright for Kyle. He was a team leader again during 2019.
Following the conclusion of the 2019 season, Kyle played with Steamboat Springs RFC in the Rocky Mountain League.
In 2020, Kyle appeared to be having a breakout year with the Houston SaberCats prior to the shortened season due to COVID-19. With the return to Austin, expect a breakout year for him in 2021.
Austin Gilgronis Comments
AG Rugby is delighted to announce the acquisition of South African lock Kyle Breytenbach. Breytenbach played the first two seasons of Major League Rugby in Austin and makes his returns after playing the truncated 2020 season with the Houston Sabercats.
The 27-year-old says, “I love Austin and always have, what this team is doing from the rugby side and management side is just what I was looking for when this league started and I’m really just ready to get back to work for my new teammates and old friends.”
Breytenbach adds more veteran depth to the AG’s engine room and will play alongside; Sebastian De Chaves, Christian Ostberg, Reegan O’Gorman, Cameron Dodson, and Michael De Waal. Breytenbach will suit up for the AGs this Sunday at home against the San Diego Legion.
Breytenbach is a local favorite after helping the Austin Huns win the 2017 Division 1 National Championship. This past month Breytenbach has been training with the Huns ahead of the club team’s regular season, before getting the call up from AG Head Coach Sam Harris.
Breytenbach is now one of five players playing with the AGs that played in Austin in year one of Major League Rugby: Paddy Ryan, Ned Hodson, Zinzan Elan-Puttick, and Mason Pedersen.
The 6’5” 250lb South African adds extra versatility to the AG forward pack, as Breytenbach is comfortable playing either lock, blindside flanker, and No. 8.
Welcome back to Austin, Kyle Breytenbach!