Chicago Hounds Re-Signs Billy Meakes

The Chicago Hounds re-signed Bill Meakes for the 2024 Major League Rugby season. The 32-year-old center (33 in February) is 6’2″ and 210 lbs.

Billy played 1120 minutes in 14 starts and scored 1 try for the Chicago Hounds in 2023. He carried the ball 170 times for 1154 meters (6.8 meters per carry),  made three clean line breaks, and beat 39 defenders. On defense, he completed 153 tackles successfully. He also earned his third consecutive All-Pro selection.

Billy was named to the 2023 All-MLR second team after earning first-team honors in both 2021 and 2022, as well as being named MLR’s Back of the Year award in both 2021 and 2022.

While with the LA Giltinis in 2022, he played 1109 minutes in 15 starts and scored 3 tries. He also played at the LA Sevens and the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa for Australia.

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

The Chicago Hounds indicated that while he was with the LA Giltinis, he beat 90 defenders and broke the line 13 times on 310 carries. Meakes gained 2,495 meters when he opted to carry the ball (8.0 MPC) and scored five tries. He was a defensive stalwart for the 2021 MLR Champions, making 241 tackles for the Giltinis and helping 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