AUSTIN (KXAN) – In just its second year of existence, Q2 Stadium has quickly become one of the most difficult places for opposing teams in MLS. Later this summer, Premier Rugby Sevens will take the field in the second quarter, marking the first time in the stadium’s short history that a sport other than football will be played there.
“We’re just competing at a high level against some of the most experienced athletes in the world,” said Premier Rugby Sevens star and US Olympic gold medalist Matai Leuta. “You know, they come to show what they have to offer. And yeah, it’s a battle on the field. It’s a great time in the stands. [Fans]you can look forward to an unforgettable experience.”
This week in Q2, Leuta met Austin FC defender Nick Lima to swap shirts. The two also tossed and kicked around a rugby ball and taught each other a thing or two about their respective sports.
“[Leuta is] a great teacher,” joked Lima. “I think he has coaching for his future. It’s pretty cool. Great respect for these athletes and what they achieve, especially physically.”
“[Lima] learns quickly,” adds Leuta about the football defender. “I mean, if he’s capable of that, maybe we’ll recruit him for a couple of games.”
The Premier Rugby Sevens is a new league bringing eight sides, four male and four female, on a three-city tour. Austin will be the finale of three and the place where the champions will be crowned.
“I’ve been a professional rugby player for seven years, so I wanted to see this come to fruition, other cities adopting it,” added Leuta. “It’s been exciting to see future generations of rugby players stepping up and getting into the sport and wanting to take it to a new level here in America.”
The teams start on Saturday, July 30th at 15:00 in Q2. Tickets are available on SeatGeek.