MLR Weekly – 16/12/2020 – Billy Meakes & Cam Clark
Two More Return For The Seawolves
Second Row FP Pelser and Winger Sitiveni Tamaivena have both re-signed with the Seawolves.
The Seattle Seawolves have confirmed that South African Lock FP Pelser, will be returning for another year of Major League Rugby, with the franchise. The towering Lock Forward started three of last season’s five games, in a Second Row Parternship with Brad Tucker. The Seawolves have lost fellow Lock Jeremy Lenaerts, to the Sabercats, so Pelser will be even more important next season. He is an impressive 6 foot 6 and a fantastic lineout operator. He missed two games with injury last season, but Seawolves fans will get to see more of Pelser next season and he looks set to be a big player for the franchise. Pelser is the latest name to be confirmed for next season, but no new signings have been announced as of yet.
Sitiveni Tamaivena has signed Senior contract, with the Seattle Seawolves, for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The powerful Winger, joined the champs last season, as a part of their wider squad. The 27 year old impressed and managed to make four appearances, including 2 starts in 2020. He has now earned a full contract with the club and will look to push on next season.
A Busy Week For The Legion
It’s been a busy week for San Diego Legion, as they ramp up preparations for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. They have signed Australian Winger Cam Clark and South African Prop Hencus Van Wyk, as well as giving a new deal to Centre Dylan Audsley. Three fantastic moves from the Legion and they look to be getting stronger and stronger.
Cam Clark has been playing for the Waratahs, since transitioning back from Sevens in 2017. He has been a solid performer in Super Rugby and had a strong showing in the recent Super Rugby AU season. He is primarily a Winger, but can play in a number of positions across the backline, with a strong skillset and pace that can hurt you from anywhere.
Cam Clark made his Australia Sevens debut in 2012. He went on to be one of their top performers for the next five years. Clark featured at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2013 Sevens World Cup. The Auckland born, Australia raised, flyer is only 27 year old and looks set to rip it up in California.
Hencus Van Wyk:
The huge South African is their second Prop signing of the off season, with Luatangi Li joining from Northland. The two will bring some serious scrummaging power, along with their work rate around the field. Van Wyk has had a successful career, that has seen him play Super Rugby in both South Africa and Japan. He started out with the Blue Bulls, after finishing up at the University of Pretoria Tuks (Varsity Cup). He brings plenty of experience, along with his significant playing ability and will cover the loss of Paul Mullan, to the Utah Warriors.
The 28 year old, made his debut for the Bulls in 2012 and was named as part of their 2013 Super Rugby Squad. He went on to play for the Lions and then made the move to Japan. He spent four seasons in Japan, with Top League Munakata Sanix Blues and earned himself a contract with Super Rugby side Sunwolves. After the Sunwolves were disbanded, Van Wyk made his way back to South Africa, to play for the Cheetahs, in the Super Rugby Unlocked competition.
The talented Centre has gone from strength to strength, since making his MLR debut in 2018. The London born USA Eagle has a complete skillset and some serious pace. He would have learned from All Blacks legend Ma’a Nonu last season and you can expect him to be even better next season. The Legion were unbeaten, in the shortened 2020 season and will be looking to get their hands on the shield in 2021. To do that, they needed to keep a core of that 2020 squad together and re-sign talents like Audsley. The 26 year olds versatility is also a plus, with his ability to cover full Back and pretty much anywhere in the backline, if you needed him to.
Austin Gilgronis Sign Maclean Jones
Maclean Jones played under Gilgronis Assistant coach and has played with fellow new signing Mack Mason, since they were fifteen. The former Waratahs pair were under-utilised by the Tahs and will be able to showcase their immense ability and potential in the MLR. The Gilgronis have done some fantastic recruitment this off season and look like real contenders.
Maclean Jones started out with Syndey side Warringah Rats. At just 19, Jones lead the league with tackles per game (18.4). He continued that workrate throughout his club and pro career, so far, and naturally stepped up into leadership roles. He captained both the Warringah Rats and the Australia Under 20s side. Jones will also be another handy option at lineout time and is a skilful jumper at the back of the lineout.
More Big Signings For The Giltinis
The Giltinis have continued their impressive recruitment drive, with the signings of Billy Meakes, Christian Poidevin, and Luke Carty. Three more quality players, who will fit in nicely with this Giltinis roster.
Australian Centre Billy Meakes has signed a two year Major League Rugby deal with the LA Giltinis. Meakes has been playing for London Irish, on a three month contract, to help cover injury problems. He has already made his mark, at the London club, with some fine Premiership Rugby performances. Prior to that, Meakes was playing for Australian Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels. He is a talented Centre, who can run hard lines, as well as use his handling skills to put others in space. The 29 year old has now been lured to Major League Rugby and has joined a growing contingent of Australian players in the League. It shows the increasing attraction of playing in the MLR, with a number of high profile signings. Meakes is still at the top of his game and could have continued in Super Rugby or the Premiership. Instead, Meakes has opted to hunt for the MLR shield, in the Giltini’s inaugural season.
The lively, all-action Flanker, will link up with his former Captain Nathen Den Hoedt, who has recently signed for the club. Poidevin has signed on at the Giltinis, after two successful seasons with Randwick. his performances instantly caught the eye, as a player who looks to get involved as much as possible. Poidevin is on the smaller side as a Flanker, but this allows him to be mobile around the field and impact games through his work with the ball or at the breakdown. He has the potential to be a future ‘Hybrid Player’, if Eddie Jones’s ideas take off in that regard. The son of a former 59 Cap Wallaby, Simon Poidevin, is carving his own career out and sees the next step in the MLR. He has the skills to be a success and looks like he has chosen the perfect environment.
The LA Giltinis have signed Connacht and former Ireland Under 20s Fly Half Luke Carty, on a two year deal. Carty is the younger brother of Ireland Fly Half Jack Carty and is USA Eligible, through his New York born Grandmother. The 23 year old has superb game management skills and is an accomplished goal kicker. He will battle it out with fellow new signing Luke Burton, for the starting Fly Half role and his signing gives another top option in that role. The Giltinis continue to make some eye catching signings and look set to hit the ground running, in their inaugural season of Major League Rugby.
Luke Carty had been set to play for the LA Giltinis Head Coach Darren Coleman, at Gordon Rugby Club, in Sydney, but Covid ended those plans. Coleman didn’t forget about the talented pivot and got in touch, once he was in place at Giltinis.
Peni Tagive Moves To The Dallas Jackals
The Dallas Jackals have signed former Austing Gilgronis and Sydney Rooster Winger Retu Peni Tagive, for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The impressive and powerful Australian born, USA Qualified, Winger will compete with the likes of Ryan James and Campbell Johnstone for a starting wing spot. Tagive has been all over the globe thanks to his sporting exploits, but he clearly loves it in Texas and loves it in the MLR. Tagive is a big unit and his background in Rugby League, means that he loves a carry and is a hard man to put down. A smart move by the Jackals and someone who is clearly MLR ready.
One Signing & One Re-Signing At The Arrows
Toronto Arrows have re-signed experienced Prop Rob Brouwer and handed a first pro contract to fellow Prop Marc-Antoine Ouellet. The moves take their roster tally to 33 signed players, as they prepare for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The whole league seems to be getting stronger, with some eye catching signings. The Arrows have made their own signings, such as Argentina Back Tuculet, but mainly they have focussed on improving their current squad. They have some hugely talented Canadian players, that are in constant development and a selection of class South Americans. They look well set for next season.
Rob Brouwer is a well loved and incredibly consistent member of this Arrows squad. He is renowned for his scrummaging technique and prowess, but his all round stats are strong. This will be his third season with the side, after racking up 18 appearances so far. The 38 year old is getting to the latter stages of his career, but still has plenty to offer and showed in that in the 2019 season, where he was named in the MLR 1st XV team of the season. Brouwer has 11 International caps and will help bring through the next lot of Canadian Props, such as Cole Keith and Marc-Antoine Ouellet.
Ouellet is a young and exciting talent, who crossed over from Football. He has come through the Rugby Canada Development Programme and has a bright future in the MLR. The 6’3′ former Defensive Lineman, from Quebec, has all the attributes to be a success in rugby and will now continue his development in the professional ranks.
NOLA Gold Flanker Kevin O’Connor Signs Two Year Extension
Openside Flanker Kevin O’Connor has signed a contract extension through till the end of the 2022 MLR season. The 26 year old has is a quality player around the park and has extended his stay with this exciting Gold side. He has been training as a Hooker and his versatility will provide both cover and competition in both positions.