Former Baylor University Defensive End, Peni Tagive Signs with Austin Elite Rugby
ROUND ROCK (TX) – Austin Elite Rugby is pleased to announce the commitment of Ratu Peni Tagive. The Australian born centre of Fijian descent was born in Camperdown, New South Wales. Growing up he was quite the athlete, but rugby is where he has made his mark. Making appearances both on the World Rugby and the US collegiate football stage, Tagive brings with him a lot of valued experience.
Tagive made his first-grade debut in 2008, playing for the Wests Tigers in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) competition. Tagive was also named in the 2008 Fiji, Rugby World Cup squad. After his time spent with the Fijian national team, it was announced that Tagive signed a two year deal with the Dragons (National Rugby League Team). In his first trial match with the Dragons, he, unfortunately, suffered an injury to his knee that ruled him out for the season.
After his healthy recovery in August 2011, Tagive signed a three-year deal with the Sydney Roosters (National Rugby League Team). At the end of 2012, Tagive retired from rugby league, as he desired to focus on his studies. Tagive in 2013 moved to the United States to play collegiate American football at Baylor University as a defensive end. He played a part in Baylor’s first ever and back-to-back Big 12 Championship wins in 2013 and 2014.
In 2017 he graduated and went back to his roots, playing rugby for the Austin Huns and Tiger Rugby. After being a standout in the USA club scene, Tagive finally got the call-up for both the USA 7s and 15s national team. After suffering a minor knee injury during training camp for the 2018 Rugby World Cup, his hope of putting on that USA jersey had been put on hold.
Following his vast recovery, Tagive went on to play for Old Blue Rugby Club in New York, playing an integral role in the teams 2018 Division 1 American Premiership XVs Championship. “My dreams of being a USA Eagle are still alive,” said Ratu Peni Tagive.
“We were fortunate enough to work with Peni during his time with the Austin Huns,” said Backs Coach CJ De Wet. “His size, speed and offload ability were impressive, so much so that he earned time at the HPC in Chula Vista. His leadership and rugby IQ will elevate our strong squad and we are excited to welcome Peni back to Austin.”
About Austin Elite Rugby
Austin Elite Rugby is a Professional Rugby team based in Austin and Round Rock, Texas, and we are excited to bring Professional Rugby to Central Texas. As a founding member of Major League Rugby, Austin Elite Rugby’s vision is to bring the excitement of professional rugby to the US. With the embodiment of rugby’s core values of integrity, respect, discipline, and passion; AER will help educate, inspire and connect with the community of Austin, Texas. Creating a world-class experience for players and fans to enjoy the game.
The 2019 Major League Rugby season kicks off the weekend of January 26th and will span 19 weeks with home matches being played at the iconic Dell Diamond, a 13,000-seat stadium in Round Rock / North Austin.
About Major League Rugby
MLR is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. For more information, visit usmlr.com
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