‘I pride myself on putting my hand up’ SaberCats’ Tomiwa Agbongbon

Apr 12, 2024 | Uncategorized

By Aaron Wilson

One of the strongest and most imposing players on the Houston SaberCats’ roster, Tomiwa Agbongbon rejoined the squad this season after playing for the Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership.
At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Agbongbon, a 22-year-old back rower, definitely makes his physical presence felt.
He has size, speed and skill working in his favor.
“Rugby has always been about expressing myself and playing for those around me,” Agbongbon said. “I’m a hard worker. Just being a physical presence, someone my team can count on, I pride myself on putting my hand up when my team needs me. I’m someone that can step up when the game is in the balance.”
Born in New Jersey, Agbongbon was raised in England in London and Essex.
“I grew up in London and I spent most of my childhood in the Essex region,” Agbongbon said. “I moved to Essex and made my way back to London. I’m a Londoner at heart.”
Agbongbon had a big role in a road victory over the Dallas Jackals as the undefeated SaberCats improved their overall record to 5-0. They are the lone undefeated team in Major League Rugby heading into Saturday night’s home match against the New England Freejacks, a night for Honoring Heroes and enjoying the music of Payton Howie.
“Going to Dallas, especially with us being undefeated, they wanted to make a mark,” Agbongbon said. “That’s that Texas rivalry. We spoke about it. It was always going to be a tough game. I think we showed a willingness to fight for each other. We understood the first half wasn’t good enough.
“We knew the second half needed to be better. We needed to hunt, as SaberCats do. That’s in our DNA. Much credit to the boys. We spoke about how much a difference it makes in lifting the team and bringing energy. It’s a privilege to boost the boys.”
When Agbongbon got the call from SaberCats veteran director Heyneke Meyer to sign a new contract for his second stint with the Western Conference division franchise, he knew it was still the right fit for him.
The SaberCats are a winning organization that set a franchise record with 10 wins last year. They qualified for the playoffs each of the past two seasons under the team’s current leadership of Meyer and coach Pote Human.
“I finished my season in the UK, and I had a sit-down with Heyneke,” Agbongbon said. “He made it very clear what they were able to do with the season. Having been a part of the team before, it only felt right to come back and be involved again.
“It was good playing in the UK, but it’s definitely a different culture. You can learn a lot from the culture in the UK and in the United States. I enjoyed it. The times were hard, but I enjoyed the ruthlessness of it all. You go somewhere else and you can almost bring that ruthlessness with you. It’s embedded in you. It’s like you enjoy the pain.”
His goals are simple: do everything he can to help the team win a championship.
He spent his off week exercising and exploring Houston.
“I’m going to find a balance,” he said. “For every week, it’s about getting better. There’s still a lot of season left. In England, I put on some good weight. I’ve got to find a balance, get in some conditioning in the gym and go see Houston with some of the boys. Fortunately for me, I haven’t played as much, so I’m relatively fresh.”