‘It’s amazing,’ SaberCats’ Seth Smith is youngest player in MLR history, Player of the Week

May 8, 2024 | Uncategorized

By Aaron Wilson

Seth Smith drove forward, legs churning with power until he busted in for the first try of his career.
The youngest player in Major League Rugby history, Smith recorded his first score during the SaberCats’ 33-0 victory over the San Diego Legion.
Now, Smith is the Player of the Week for MLR after scoring a try in consecutive matches. He retained his spot as a first-team hooker for the 10th week of the season for the second week in a row.
“It’s a crazy feeling,” Smith said. “It wasn’t just a me try. It was a forward try. All the boys helped me out. I’ve got to give all the props to my brothers.”
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Nicknamed “Viking,” the blonde-haired Fulshear graduate and Richmond native played in his first match in a win over the Utah Warriors. He was 18 years old, eight months and seven days old as he made his debut for the hometown SaberCats.
Smith has provided strength, mobility and skill for the 7-1 SaberCats as they lead the Western Conference Division.
A 5-foot-8, 240-pound former all-state wrestler and all-state fullback, Smith has made a strong transition to the highest level of professional rugby in North America.
“It’s amazing,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without the trust that my family and my coaches put into me. The guys let me do whatever I can do, and it’s an amazing feeling.”
Smith launched his rugby career through the SaberCats’ Player Pathway as he competed for the West Houston Rugby Club, the SaberCats’ U18 group and SaberCats Academy to gain experience. Smith is the first player to successfully graduate from the Player Pathway program.
Two years ago, he was named to the USA traveling roster for players 18 and under.
“It’s very special,” Smith said. “I have the most supportive family and support system in the world. They come to all my games, home and on the road. The fans and the people of Houston are why I do what I do.”
Smith first began playing rugby at age 11 with the Katy Barbarians. At Fulshear, he was a three-sport athlete as he competed in football, wrestling and rugby. He was named the utility player of the year in football with 10 touchdowns combined during his junior and senior season and 22 two-point conversions and was selected as a USA Rugby All-American.
“I was a three-sport athlete until my senior year, and that’s when I concentrated just on rugby,” Smith said. “Everything translated, the conditioning, the contact of football.”
Majoring in business at Lonestar Community College, Smith attended the 2002 USA Winter U20s Camp.
“It’s incredible,” Christian Dyer said. “I have got so much respect for that kid, 18 years old in a professional environment. He’s a sponge. He wants to learn. He brings a lot of energy.”