The team, previously known as the Austin Herd and, earlier, as Austin Elite Rugby, has been purchased by Loyals LLC, an international rugby investment company based in Australia, according to a Jan. 29 press release. The team has also been redubbed the Austin Gilgronis, a name that references “a Texas-sized cocktail, to be released soon.”
“We are excited to bring Austin Gilgronis to Central Texas and share the excitement of rugby with Texas football fans," Matt Burgess, Loyals LLC CEO said in the release. "We look forward to bringing even more heat to Texas by introducing the Austin community to the rough and tumble world of rugby."
The Gilgronis will also relocate to the Circuit of the Americas in Southeast Austin for the 2020 season, which begins Feb. 9, after playing home games in 2018 and 2019 at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex. According to Burgess, matches this season will feature a range of pre-game entertainment, including “a human fireball, fire spinner, fire breathers, BBQ championships, cheerleading championships” and more.
“We cannot wait to welcome the Gilgronis to COTA and look forward to adding one of the most exciting sports in the world to our one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment destination,” said Circuit of the Americas Chief Revenue Officer Tim Prukop. “The Gilgronis will offer COTA guests yet another way to experience the thrill of being alive.”
Along with the team’s relocation and rebranding, Loyals LLC announced its intention to construct “the world’s largest youth strength and conditioning center” for young rugby players in Austin.
The Gilgronis’ Director of Rugby for the coming season will be Michael Byrne, who replaces Todd Clever.
More information is available at www.austinherd.com.