The Chicago Hounds signed Matai Leuta for the remainder of the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 32-year-old wing is 6’3″ and 235 lbs.
Matai played 1282 minutes in 17 matches, starting 16, and scored two tries for the Houston SaberCats in 2022.
Matai is from Marina, California, and was raised in Fiji at age 6. When he returned to California, he attended Seaside High School, graduating in 2008. While he played rugby as a youth, but his senior year in high school he helped the Spartans win the Monterey Bay League in football.
Matai played for the Monterey Beachdogs when he attended Monterey Penisula College, and later with the San Jose Seahawks.
In 2015 he attended a USA recruitment Camp at Chula Vista and this led to his inclusion on the USA Rugby Sevens Team. He made his debut for the team in 2015 at the Hong Kong Sevens, and an injury prior to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, had him missing selection.
In 2016 he played rugby XVs with the USA Selects at the Americas Pacific Challenge, starting all three matches. He made his senior national team debut with the Eagles XVs against Romania at Bucharest on Nov 12, 2016. Eagle 501 also played against Georgia on June 17, 2017, and against Canada on June 24.
Matai has had an extensive rugby sevens career, playing in 215 HSBC World Sevens Series matches in 44 tournaments, and scoring 31 tries. He played in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 in San Francisco and was on Team USA for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Matai also played in the first United States professional rugby sevens league on October 9, 2021, as the co-captain of Premier Rugby Sevens Locals7s.
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