The Houston SaberCats signed Morgan Mitchell for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old tighthead prop, who has played hooker, is 5’7″ and 250 lbs.
Morgan is from Gore, New Zealand, and was born hearing impaired. He began playing rugby when he was 5 years old. He attended Gore Main School and then Gore High School where he was a star athlete. His athletic prowess drew national attention and played for the Under-17s in New Zealand.
His hearing had progressively declined and he played the majority of his rugby without the use of a hearing aid that was regularly worn outside of competition and some adjustments were made through reading lips. Finally, after becoming completely deaf in 2016, he had a cochlear implant that has been a life changer, hearing new sounds, and allowing him to continue with the sport that he loves.
Listen to the video and read more about how Morgan has overcome auditory barriers and how he made history as the first deaf player to feature in a top-tier rugby competition, the Mitre 10 Cup with the Southland Stags.
Morgan has switched rugby positions over the years. While playing in high school he played No. 8, switched to hooker for Senior rugby, and in 2012 switched to tighthead prop.
He played 56 matches for the Southland Stags from 2014 through and had the chance to play with his brother Brayden in 2015 on the team. Morgan also trained in Dunedin alongside the Highlanders Super Rugby team. He progressed through the Southland age-group ranks and into the Stags and left the 2018 SIT Zero Fees Southland Stags following the season’s conclusion for the Toronto Arrows.
Morgan also played rugby with the Eastern Barbarians, Albion Excelsior, and Star.
Morgan played in 16 matches for the Toronto Arrows during the 2019 Major League Rugby season and scored 4 tries.
From 2020 through 2022 he played in Japan for the Kamaishi Seawaves.