Hounds Add Veteran Fullback Adriaan Carelse
CHICAGO, I.L.- The Chicago Hounds announced today the club signed fullback Adriaan Carelse for the 2024 Major League Rugby season.
Carelse, 5-foot-7, 176 pounds, is a native of Somerset West, South Africa. The three-year MLR veteran played for the Seattle Seawolves, Dallas Jackals, and Rugby Atlanta before making the move to Chicago.
In 2023, the Jackals traded Carelse to the Seawolves in the middle of the campaign. He appeared in 16 games last year, starting 14 of them, and played a total of 1,102 minutes. The fullback scored 23 points with three tries, including a seven-pointer, and three successful conversion kicks. Carelse carried the ball 86 times for 618 meters gained (7.2 meters-per-carry) and beat 25 defenders while adding a pair of line breaks to the stat sheet. He helped the Seawolves to a Western Conference Championship game appearance after Seattle beat the Houston Sabercats in the Eliminator Round last postseason.
Prior to the 2022 season, Carelse signed with Dallas. He appeared in ten games for the Jackals in their inaugural season, starting all ten contests and finishing the year with 736 minutes played. Carelse added another 42 points to his career totals by hitting 12 conversions and six penalties. He finished the season with 61 carries for 488 meters (8 MPC) and broke the line five teams while beating 24 defenders.
Carelse burst onto the MLR scene in 2021 with Rugby ATL. The South African native appeared in 11 contests and made ten starts, totaling 842 minutes on the field. He scored 63 points for Atlanta via three tries, including one seven-pointer, 14 conversions, and six penalty kicks. He finished the year with 58 carries for 548 meters gained (9.4 MPC). Carelse was credited with six clean line breaks and 19 defenders beaten on the year. He helped lead Rugby Atlanta to an Eastern Conference Championship and Major League Rugby Championship Series Final berth.
Prior to Major League Rugby, Carelse played for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Free State, Bloemfontein. He made four appearances for the Cheetahs and earned an additional six caps with the Free State XV side. He began playing rugby at Hottentots Holland High School and earned a spot on the Western Province Under-18 and Under-19 teams. In 2014, he helped the Western Province U19 team win the Provincial Championship.
Roster to Date:
To date, the Chicago Hounds have signed the following players ahead of the 2024 Major League Rugby season:
- Nick McCarthy, scrumhalf
- Ben Landry, lock/flanker
- Dave Kearney, wing
- Bryce Campbell, center*
- Zurabi Zhvania, prop
- Billy Meakes, center*
- Julian Dominguez, wing*
- George Merrick, lock
- Tinashe Muchena, back row*
- Adriaan Carelse, fullback
Star denotes re-signed player.
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