‘Missile’ provides boost to undefeated SaberCats

Apr 10, 2024 | Uncategorized

By Aaron Wilson

When the SaberCats invited Jeremy Misailegalu to join them, ‘The Missile,’ jumped at the opportunity.
Misailegalu, a former Rugby Atlanta player and a former All-Major League Rugby honorable mention selection as a wing-center, simply wanted to play rugby again in his return to the sport.
“Rugby has changed my life,” Misailegalu said. “If we can spread the whole culture and get more people to play the sport, we can grow it. I’ve seen what rugby has done for me and my peers.
“Rugby is played under so many cultures around the world with one common goal: to win. We all trust each other and enjoy the process and are having fun. It’s amazing. We have a great culture.”
Misailegalu has helped boost the SaberCats to a 5-0 record as the lone undefeated team in the league heading into Saturday night’s Honoring Heroes themed night that included a performance by musician Payton Howie. The SaberCats host the New England Freejacks on Saturday and Misailegalu (5-foot-11, 215 pounds) is another reason why there’s been a lot to cheer about so far this season.
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Misailegalu is a 5-foot-11, 230-pound newcomer to the SaberCats. A former high school running back and linebacker from Puyallup, Washington who attended New Mexico Highlands University, Misailegalu has previous stints with Atlanta, Utah and Seattle.
His football background has paid dividends for the SaberCats.
“They call me ‘Missile,’ because I’m a bulldozer / Honey Badger” Misailegalu said. “I love the violent aspect of the sport, being scrappy. There’s a carryover from football. A lot of similarities. I like to run with the ball as a former running back As a linebacker, you get to tackle and rugby has that carryover that’s really cool.”
Misailegalu played 1,289 minutes in 18 matches, starting 16, and scored three tries during the 2021 season for Atlanta.
He had four starts and one try in 2020 for Rugby ATL during a pandemic-shortened season.
With the Warriors in 2019, he played 599 minutes in eight starts with one try and had 50 tackles.
He started three of four matches played for the Seawolves during the inaugural season of Major League Rugby, contributing to a championship squad.
“I’ve been playing rugby for 10 years now,” Misailegalu said. “Being a running back, I’m able to avoid contact or go into contact. I think that’s one of the biggest thing that transfers from football to rugby.”
With the SaberCats, Misailegalu is enjoying the camaraderie, teamwork and the winning culture established by director Heyneke Meyer and coach Pote Human.
“Oh man, it’s a good time,” he said. “Very good culture, very family oriented environment. That definitely does help with winning.”