Houston SaberCats

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Houston SaberCats
SaberCats logo.png
Full nameHouston SaberCats
Founded2017; 2 years ago (2017)
LocationHouston, Texas
Ground(s)Aveva Stadium (Capacity: 4,000)
PresidentJ.T. Onyett
Coach(es)Paul Healy (Head)
Paul Emerick (Skills)
Darren Morris (forwards)
Sam Windsor (backs)
Neil Kelly (defence)
Captain(s)Matt Trouville
Top scorerSam Windsor (263)
Most triesSam Windsor (10)
League(s)Major League Rugby
20197th placed (regular season)
Team kit
Official website
www.houstonsabercats.com

The Houston SaberCats are an American professional rugby union team based in Houston, Texas. The team was founded in 2017 and competes in Major League Rugby,[1] the top-level rugby competition in the United States that played its first season in 2018. The SaberCats organization was born from one of the founding amateur rugby clubs that pooled resources to emerge professionally, and were the first of in MLR membership to build a rugby-specific stadium intended for MLR competition.

Home field[edit]

Houston plays their games in Aveva Stadium, which was opened on April 13, 2019.[2] In February 2018, the City of Houston agreed to fund $3.2 million of the $15.25 million needed to build a permanent rugby stadium for use by the Houston SaberCats at Houston Sports Park.[3] On July 17, the SaberCats announced naming rights were awarded to British multinational software and technology company Aveva.[4]

Houston Sports Park is also the permanent training ground for Major League Soccer soccer team Houston Dynamo as well as the Houston Dash women's soccer team.

During the 2018 regular season, the SaberCats played their home matches at Dyer Stadium[5] and trained at Athlete Training and Health in Houston. The team also played at Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters, for part of the 2019 season, and for their exhibition matches in 2017 and 2018.[6] Also, in April 2019, while the new pitch at Aveva Stadium healed, the team returned to Dyer Stadium to play one match against San Diego before returning to Aveva Stadium.

Stadium Capacity Location Year(s)
Dyer Stadium 6,000 Houston, Texas 2018
Constellation Field 7,500 Sugar Land, Texas 2018–2019
Aveva Stadium 4,000 Houston, Texas 2019–present

Broadcasts[edit]

  • 2019 home games were shown on KUBE-TV an independent station in Houston. Lincoln Rose and Kit McConnico were the on air talent.
  • 2020 home games will be shown on Univision Houston alongside with TheKUBE.

Sponsorship[edit]

Season Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2018-2019 XBlades Aveva
2020-present Paladin Sports

Players and personnel[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players have been reported for Houston for the 2020 season:[7][8][9]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Pat O’Toole Hooker United States United States
Gabriel Romero Hooker United States United States
Jack Riley Hooker England England
Tim Cadwallader Hooker New Zealand New Zealand
Matt Almeida Prop United States United States
Charlie Connolly Prop Ireland Ireland
Jamie Dever Prop Ireland Ireland
Codi Jones Prop United States United States
Mateo Sanguinetti Prop Uruguay Uruguay
Boyd Wiggins Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Victor Comptat Lock United States United States
Charlie Hewitt Lock England England
Robert Meeson Lock United States United States
Diego Magno Lock Uruguay Uruguay
Kyle Breytenbach Lock South Africa South Africa
Luke Beauchamp Flanker Australia Australia
Chris Coyle Flanker United States United States
Cecil Garber Flanker United States United States
Chris Parker Flanker United States United States
Chad Joseph* Flanker New Zealand New Zealand
Ayron Schramm Number 8 Germany Germany
Alejandro Nieto Number 8 Uruguay Uruguay
Player Position Union
Santiago Arata Scrum-half Uruguay Uruguay
Chris Saint Scrum-half United States United States
De Wet Roos Scrum-half Australia Australia
Kieran Farmer Fly-half Scotland Scotland
Sam Windsor Fly-half Australia Australia
Taylor Howden Centre United States United States
Tiaan Loots Centre South Africa South Africa
Conor Mills Centre United States United States
Max Tacket Centre United States United States
Irving Carcamo Centre United States United States
Matías Freyre Centre Argentina Argentina
Zack Godfrey Wing England England
Kelly Kholberg Wing United States United States
Malacchi Esdale Wing United States United States
Alex Elkins Wing United States United States
Deion Mikesell Wing United States United States
Joe Kelly Fullback United States United States
Osea Kolinisau Fullback Fiji Fiji
Zach Pangelinan Fullback United States United States
  • Senior 15's and senior 7's internationally capped players in bold
  • MLR teams are allowed to field up to ten (10) overseas players per match who are not qualified to play for the USA or Canadian national teams.

Coaching staff[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Captains[edit]

Records[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/− BP Pts   Playoffs
2018 7th 8 1 0 7 216 256 –40 7 11   Did not qualify
2019 7th 16 6 0 10 345 496 −151 6 30   Did not qualify

2018 season[edit]

Exhibition[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
November 18, 2017 Dallas Reds Away Won, 31–24
December 2, 2017 Dallas Harlequins Away Won, 125–0
December 9, 2017 Austin Blacks Away Won, 46–31
December 9, 2017 Austin Blacks Away Won, 55–14
December 16, 2017 Dallas Reds Home Won, 21–5
January 6, 2018 Seattle Saracens Away Won, 50–7
January 13, 2018 Vancouver Ravens Away Lost, 23–26
January 20, 2018 Uruguay National Team Home Lost, 24–32
January 27, 2018 James Bay Athletic Club Home Won, 42–13
February 3, 2018 Capital Selects Home Won, 49–3
February 10, 2018 Chicago Lions Home Won, 60–10
February 17, 2018 New York Athletic Club Away Won, 39–38
February 24, 2018 New Orleans Gold Home Won, 30–12
March 3, 2018 Ontario Arrows Home Draw, 28–28
March 24, 2018 New Orleans Gold Away Draw, 32–32
April 7, 2018 San Diego Legion Away Won, 33–17

Regular season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
April 21 New Orleans Gold Home Lost, 26–35
April 28 Austin Elite Home Won, 50–38
May 4 San Diego Legion Away Lost, 32–35
May 19 New Orleans Gold Away Lost, 26–35
May 26 Utah Warriors Home Lost, 30–36
June 2 Seattle Seawolves Home Lost, 7–20
June 9 Glendale Raptors Away Lost, 24–37
June 23 Utah Warriors Away Lost, 27–31

2019 season[edit]

Exhibition[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
December 1, 2018 Austin Blacks Away Won, 78–12
December 8, 2018 Dallas Reds Away Won, 34–8
January 11, 2019 Austin Elite Home Lost, 10–14
January 19, 2019 Glendale Raptors Home Lost, 21–36

Regular season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Venue Result
January 26 Austin Elite Away Dell Diamond Won, 21–20
February 9 San Diego Legion Away Torero Stadium Lost, 13–17
February 22 Toronto Arrows Home Constellation Field Lost, 27–44
March 2 Rugby United New York Home Constellation Field Lost, 8–35
March 10 Seattle Seawolves Away Starfire Sports Lost, 14–27
March 16 New Orleans Gold Home Constellation Field Lost, 11–49
March 23 Utah Warriors Home Constellation Field Won, 29–27
April 6 Glendale Raptors Away Infinity Park Lost, 44–52
April 13 Seattle Seawolves Home Aveva Stadium Lost, 12–52
April 21 Toronto Arrows Away York Stadium Lost, 21–35
April 27 San Diego Legion Home Dyer Stadium Lost, 19–41
May 5 Rugby United New York Away MCU Park Lost, 0–21
May 18 New Orleans Gold Away Archbishop Shaw Stadium Won, 27–20
May 25 Austin Elite Home Aveva Stadium Won, 36–15
May 29 Glendale Raptors Home Aveva Stadium Won, 32-17
June 1 Utah Warriors Away Zions Bank Stadium Won, 31-27

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Major League Rugby – As It Stands". Americas Rugby News. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  2. ^ "SaberCats fall to Seawolves in first match played at AVEVA Stadium". Houston Chronicle. April 13, 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Schneider, Andrew (2018-02-07). "Houston City Council Approved $3.2 Million Deal To Build A New Rugby Stadium". Houston Public Media. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  4. ^ "SaberCats, city to break ground on new AVEVA Stadium late July". KHOU. July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Gorman, Jack (2018-03-05). "Houston SaberCats Announce New Temporary Home". Houston Press. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  6. ^ Dart, Tom (2018-01-22). "Houston? No problem – SaberCats bullish about latest US rugby venture". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  7. ^ https://houstonsabercats.com/team/
  8. ^ "2018 Major League Rugby – Houston SaberCats". Americas Rugby News. 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  9. ^ "MLR Off-Season Update - December 13, 2018". Americas Rugby News. 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  10. ^ "Houston? No problem – SaberCats bullish about latest US rugby venture". The Guardian. January 22, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Paul Emerick takes helm of SaberCats". Houston Chronicle. May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "New Coach Announced Ahead of 2020 Season". August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2019.

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