The Houston SaberCats re-signed Zach Pangelinan for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 34-year-old fullback/wing (35 in June) is 5’8′ and 195 lbs.
Zach played his fifth season with the club during the 2022 season with the SaberCats and is one of the original team members.
Zach played 453 minutes in 9 matches, starting 8, and scoring one try in 2021. In 2020 he played 289 minutes in 4 starts during the pandemic-shortened season.
During the 2019 MLR season, Zach played 1006 minutes in 15 matches and scored 3 tries. He also carried 82 times for 685 meters, Made 19 kicks for 625 meters, had 5 line breaks, 10 tackle breaks, 3 offloads, and made 42 tackles. In 2018 he played 431 minutes in 6 starts.
Zach is from Hagatna, Guam, and has had a successful soccer and rugby career. He attended Simon Sanchez High School where he was a standout athlete. In his senior year, he played rugby and represented Guam’s Under-19s in a tournament in Chinese Taipei.
It was soccer that he gravitated to early in his sporting career. In 2004 he played for Guam’s Under-18s Soccer team. From 2005-2008 he played for Guam Shipyard Football Club, winning the Guam League titles four times from 2005-2006. He made six appearances for the Guam National team and scored four goals between 2005-2008. He played in the East Asian Cup in both 2005 and 2008. He also played in the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008.
In 2007 he joined Old Mission Beach Athletic Club and has been active with the club since then. In 2014, he was named MVP in the Pacific Rugby Premiership, and in 2017 was named Co-MVP of the California Cup.
In 2016 Zach played professionally for the San Diego Breakers. In 2017 spent six months in Australia playing for Randwick Rugby Club in the prestigious Australia Shute Shield. Later in 2017, he joined the Houston SaberCats, where the team has utilized him as a fullback. He also can play wing or flyhalf. The SaberCats have utilized Sam Windsor to kick at goal, however, Zach is a very capable kicker, who can strike from midfield.
Zach is a versatile player, who makes the team better when he’s on the pitch.
Zach has not forgotten his rugby roots in Guam. He attends local tournaments when home and shares his rugby insight. Guam would benefit from a full-time rugby coach from overseas.
USA National Team
During the 2009-2010 World Rugby Sevens Series and parts of 2011, Zach represented the Men’s Eagles Sevens team. He also played for the Falcons in the South American tour to Chile and Argentina in 2015.
Zach also played for the Eagles XVs and has two caps as Eagles No. 437. He made his debut against Tonga at Colwyn Bay on November 17, 2012, starting as a fullback. He also played the following week against Romania in Bucharest as a reserve.