Canadian Powerhouses, Josh and Travis Larsen Commit to Austin Elite Rugby
ROUND ROCK (TX) – The Larsen brothers will take the field together for the very first time with Austin Elite Rugby to take part in the second season of Major League Rugby. Both Travis and Josh were born in Nanaimo, BC, but grew up in New Zealand – where they began playing rugby at just 5 and 6 years old.
Loose forward Travis Larsen, 27, first represented New Zealand Universities in 2012. In 2015 Travis headed to Europe to play professionally in Italy for two years with Petrarca Padova and Lyons Piacenza. He then desired to move back home to Canada to play for both the Meralomas and then to James Bay Rugby in hopes of being selected for Canada’s national side. He earned a call-up in August 2016 to the Canada ‘A’ side and later earned a spot on the senior side for the November tour – but has yet to make his first test match appearance.
In 2017 Travis was a standout for the BC Bears in their Canadian Rugby Championship win. He recently again suited up for the Canada ‘A’ side in the Americas Pacific Challenge. Travis has the ability to play across the back row and is quick in the lineout.
Second row Josh Larsen, 24, began his international career with Canada’s U20 side at the World Rugby Junior Trophy in 2014. In 2016 he returned to New Zealand, joining the Northland Rugby Academy. Josh was selected for the Northland Taniwha Mitre 10 Cup squad, playing part in the team’s championship win in 2017.
Josh made his debut with the Canadian national team in November 2017 against the Maori in Vancouver. Since, Josh has earned nine caps, all of them being starts for the Canadian side. He was also part of Otago’s team in this year’s Mitre 10 Cup, playing in four games before missing out because of a minor elbow injury.
Josh, like Travis, is a primary line-out target and is known for his high work rate and vitality around the pitch.
“Travis and Josh are quality acquisitions and have a lot of experience at very competitive levels,” said Head Coach Alain Hyardet.
“Both have real physicality and pace to burn which is exactly what you need to be successful, and we look forward to welcoming them to Austin for the upcoming Major League Rugby season,” said Forwards Coach Pedrie Wannenburg.
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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