The Dallas Jackals host the Houston SaberCats at Choctaw Stadium on Sunday, February 19. Kickoff is at 8:05 pm ET (7:05 local) and for those who can’t attend, the match will be broadcast on KTXA and AT&T Sports Network and streamed on The Rugby Network.
The battle of Texas should generate excitement, especially since it is the beginning of the Major League Rugby season. That experience would be enhanced if the Dallas Jackals organization had promoted their players better. There are only hours before this match and the team’s roster has not been officially announced, nor has the matchday 23 for tonight’s match. There is some question last night about whether the MLR App’s Dallas Jackals matchday squad listing was accurate. It was not. Since last night, the MLR App matchday squad has changed and will be reflected in the squad listing below.
The Dallas Jackals have closely guarded the composition of their team, which is surprising in a league where public relations is critical to the success of teams and the league. The only glimpse of a majority of the team was from a preseason match roster against NOLA Gold in a 45-19 home loss and the MLR App.
The Jackals will be an improved team from last year’s 0-16 record. The team will have an Argentine feel with the entire coaching staff and a large number of players from Argentina. Head coach Agustín Cavalieri will be tasked with managing playing time for the 11 foreign player spots with the team having a larger number of players in that category. This will also mean that the U.S. and Canadian domestic players can develop with increased playing time.
Matchday 23 has a strong U.S., Argentina, and Canadian presence. Note that Alex Tucci, a reserve loosehead prop, is listed at 16, the traditional hooker position, that will be manned by 17 Connor Robinson.
The Houston SaberCats are ready to contend in the Western Conference this season. They dispatched the New England Free Jacks in a preseason match 34-21. The Free Jacks had the best record during the regular season in the MLR in 2022.
Head Coach Pote Human also has 11 foreign player spots with the roster having additional foreign players beyond that number. He was able to balance that last year and that should not be a factor again this year.
The team style of play is a physical one and should score often while making it difficult for opposing teams to score. That should translate into many wins for the SaberCats this season.
Squads With Player Articles Links
Dallas Jackals: 1 Liam Murray 2 Dewald Kotze 3 Juan Pablo Zeiss 4 Sam Golla 5 Lucas Bur 6 Conrado Roura 7 Jerónimo Gómez Vara 8 Adriaan Booysen 9 Nazareno Valentini 10 Alejandro Torres 11 Marcos Moroni 12 Tomas Malanos 13 Juan Pablo Aguirre 14 Eric Naposki 15 Adriaan Carlese 16 Alex Tucci 17 Connor Robinson 18 Kyle Steeves 19 Maikeli Naromaitoga 20 Carson Shoemaker 21 Danny Christensen 22 Campbell Johnstone 23 James Vaifale
Houston SaberCats: 1 Rob Cobb 2 Alex Zapata 3 Morgan Mitchell 4 CC Mahoni 5 Nathan Den Hoedt 6 Wynand Grassman 7 Danny Barrett 8 Hanco Germishuys 9 Carlo De Nysschen10 David Coetzer 11 Gerrie Labuschagne 12 Dominic Akina 13 Christian Dyer 14 Louritz Van Der Schyff 15 Drew Wild 16 Andrew Tuala 17 Alec McDonell 18 Pono Davis 19 Keni Nasaqeqe 20 Marno Redelinghuys 21Nick Boyer 22 Rob Povey 23 Emmanuel Albert