The history of rugby union in Texas is, like with many places in the USA, tied up with the great sporting universities of the area – the likes of Baylor and the University of Texas started playing rugby in the 60s, and from there rugby in the Lone Star State has grown and grown.
The Austin Elite are one of two MLR franchises to be based in Texas, alongside the Houston Sabercats, and the Elite also sport two of the league’s most notable names in their ranks – USA rugby legend Todd Clever and former Springbok back rower Pedrie Wannenburg.
The Elite have gone hard on the ‘Texas’ for their branding – the club badge features that none-more-Texas of animals, the longhorn, complete with the famous Lone Star at the centre.
The colours appear to be a nod to the Austin Huns – an amateur rugby club that’s existed in Austin since 1976, and use sky blue and white hoops as their club colours – though there’s no affiliation between the two. The jersey itself has an interesting chevron/hoop mix that can be broadly described as ‘ab enhancing’ provided you have them. If you don’t however… well…
The away shirt keeps the same template, but accentuates the Elite’s third colour – orange. Orange and Texas have an awful lot of history, thanks to the semi-religious devotion that many in Austin have towards the University of Texas, though this is a lot brighter than the Longhorns’ iconic burnt orange look.
On the whole, these jerseys are interesting, but there’s a bit of the mid-2000s training jersey vibe to the very bold pattern on the front. It certainly sets the Elite apart, but we’re not sure it’s the most conventionally attractive look.