The SaberCat’s exhibition season features Saturday Night Rugby matches January through March and preludes the Major League Rugby Season kick-off in April 2018.
Houston, Texas – January 4, 2018 – The SaberCats, Houston’s Major League Rugby team, play their inaugural exhibition season opener this Saturday, January 6th at Constellation Field. The SaberCats will take-on U.S. top team, the Seattle Saracens, in their first preseason game.
The Houston SaberCats are one of seven professional rugby teams playing for the newly formed MLR in the U.S. Prior to the MLR season kick-off in April 2018, the Houston SaberCats will face rivals from the U.S. as well as teams from Canada and the Uruguay National team in a three-month exhibition season.
“We’ve dreamed of bringing professional Rugby to Houston for a long time,” says SaberCats CEO, Jeremy Turner. “Today, We are happy to announce, that dream is finally a reality.”
Seasoned head coach Justin Fitzpatrick anticipates a solid season for the SaberCats. “We’ve got a strong team in place,” says Fitzpatrick. “The SaberCats are team with a lot of athleticism, individual talent and experience. Ahead of our first match against Seattle Saracens this Saturday at Constellation Field the key players to really watch out for would be Sam, Matt, Oscar and Kyle who have been leaders and performers in both practice and in our scrimmage series and are to get into the thick of the action and take to the pitch.”
Sam Windsor joins the SaberCats from Ulster via Seattle Saracens and brings with him a wealth of experience and talent cultivated in the crucible of both the English, Irish and Australian professional programs. Sam is a natural leader on the field with the ability to direct and control the tempo and direction of play with his word and deed. Sam has an accurate and educated pass.
Matt Trouville joins the SaberCats from Australia via Seattle Saracens. Matt has been a consistent performer in the top echelons of North American rugby. He led a talented Seattle Saracens program as captain for several seasons and represented the USA Eagles. Matt is a smart footballer and leader and is one of the finest lineout shot callers in the U.S.
Osea Kolinisau, or “Oscar” as he is fondly called by his teammates, possesses a warm personality and hard working professionalism that underpins a player and a man who strives daily to better himself and also to help his teammates improve and grow. He joins the SaberCats from Fiji, where he led his country to create history leading the Fijian 7s to Olympic gold in Rio.
Kyle Sumison is a powerful, uncompromising player who’s hard-working, no-nonsense style is epitomized by his direct running and hard tackling play. Kyle is a USA Eagle and a product of BYU college in Utah where he captained his university to multiple championships.
With a new stadium soon to be under construction, the SaberCats will call Houston’s Constellation Field home for the 2018 exhibition season. Constellation Field offers over 4,000 seats for fans, including: Sky Boxes, Insperity Club, Bud LIght Ice House, full service concessions, as well as picnic and children’s entertainment areas. Matches will kick-off at 7 p.m. on Saturdays, with tailgating, Fan Zone, live music and other activities commencing at 3 p.m.
The SaberCats join the MLR in uniting Rugby’s rising domestic growth and wide-reaching global fan base under a common banner. The MLR plans to reinvigorate American rugby development pathways by establishing outreach programs to bring new players to the game and high-performance pathways to keep the best athletes in the sport, creating the competitive environment necessary to push the American game to the next level.
As evidenced by the strong reception rugby received at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and one of the most popular sports in the world. MLR is poised to be the premier rugby competition in the United States. By drawing on the best domestic talent MLR will create an intense, fast-paced competition and a top-tier media product. MLR will introduce rugby to the American sports mainstream, provide a focal point for millions of existing fans and bring even more new supporters to the game.
About Houston SaberCats
The Houston SaberCats Rugby are a Major League Rugby team based in Houston, Texas, founded in 2017 for the purpose of competing in the United States’ new national professional league. Along with Head Coach Justin Fitzpatrick, Assistant Coach Sam Windsor and Academy Director Matt Trouville, the team began recruiting for its inaugural season in 2017 and will play their first season of matches in spring of 2018.