Chicago Hounds Signs Billy Meakes

The Chicago Hounds signed Bill Meakes for the 2023 Major League Rugby season, after acquiring his signing rights in the 2022 MLR dispersal draft. The 31-year-old center (32 in February) is 6’2″ and 210 lbs.

Billy played 1109 minutes in 15 starts and scored 3 tries for the LA Giltinis in 2022. He also won back-to-back MLR Back of the Year awards. He also played at the LA Sevens and the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa for Australia.

Bill played 865 minutes in 12 starts, scoring 2 tries, and even filling in a flanker for one match for the Giltinis in 2021. He also returned to the Aussie 7s for the first two legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series in Dubai in December 2021.

“Meakes has terrorized defenses over his first two years in the season, beating 90 defenders and breaking the line 13 times. He totaled 310 career carries for 2,495 meters (8.0 meters per carry) with five tries scored. On defense, he’s credited with 241 tackles for the last two seasons.

He’s played in two playoff games and helped the Giltinis win the 2021 Western Conference championship along with the 2021 MLR Championship Series Shield.

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.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant