Sports stats

 Chicago Hounds

Hounds Selected for Week 5 Clash

March 28, 2024 - Major League Rugby (MLR)
Chicago Hounds News Release

CHICAGO, IL- The Chicago Hounds host the Seattle Seawolves in Week 5 of the 2024 Major League Rugby season. Hounds' lead man Sam Harris selected his gameday 23 to line up against the 2023 Western Conference Finalists. The game kicks off from SeatGeek Stadium at 5:00 PM CT. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can get them here.


For the second consecutive week, props Zurabi Zhvania and Ignacio Peculo will start at the loosehead and tighthead positions, respectively. The pair has proven to be a formidable duo early on in the season and this week will be the third time they suit up together as the starters. The replacement props go unchanged from week four: Fred Apulu will cover loosehead while Charlie Abel will cover tighthead.

Mason Flesch moves back down to the second row after starting at blindside flanker last weekend. He'll be pairing with James Scott in the engine room once again. Both players started every game for Chicago this season, the only two forwards to do so. Sam Peri looks to provide cover off the bench for the second consecutive week.

Young Irish prospect Conall Boomer gets his second start of the season from the blindside flanker position. We last saw Boomer during Week 3 against Old Glory DC, when the flanker scored a brace of tries and earned a spot on the MLR First XV list. Fans should expect another strong performance from the Terenure College product as he continues to settle down in his role.

Mac Jones gets the nod at openside flanker, his third consecutive start, after making appearances off of the bench in the first two contests of the year. Vice-captain Luke White returns from a brief hiatus last weekend and gets the start at No. 8 for this week's matchup, taking the place of Tinashe Muchena, who falls off the gameday roster entirely.

After four weeks of waiting, Hounds' fans might get a first look at versatile forward Ben Landry as well. The Wisconsin native was named to the 23-man roster this weekend after rehabbing a minor injury sustained in training camp. Canadian flanker Lucas Rumball also appears on the bench, marking a 6-2 split, and adds even more flexibility for the Chicago forwards as the game progresses into the latter stages.


Nick McCarthy retains his position as the first-string scrum half and the US Eagle will make his fifth start of the year on Saturday. He'll be combining with a new partner in the halfbacks, however. After starting the previous four weeks at fullback, Adriaan Carelse shifts to flyhalf for this pivotal week five game. The Hounds' attack has looked stagnant at times throughout the season and Carelse at flyhalf could inject more dynamism into the talented group of backs.

It appears that the Billy Meakes flyhalf experiment has been temporarily put on hold. The three-time All-Pro, two-time Back of the Year moves back to his preferred position of inside center. He'll combine with another All-Pro center in Mark O'Keeffe, who slots in at 13 to make his fourth start of the campaign.

After a relatively pedestrian opening few weeks, O'Keeffe exploded against New England last Sunday. The center carried the ball nine times and gained 147 meters, averaging 16 meters a pop. He added three clean line breaks and beat seven defenders as well. From an individual performance, it is one of the Hounds' best stat-lines this season. Cassh Maluia retains his spot on the bench and could earn his third MLR cap this weekend.

Julian Dominguez is back in the starting lineup after being absent from the roster the previous two weeks. The star wing appeared off the bench in the season opening win over the Miami Sharks and then started against the Warriors in Week 2, even scoring a try in the opening minutes. Hounds' fans haven't seen Dominguez since then, however. The left wing is one of the Hounds' best attacking threats and fans will be relieved to see him back on the team sheet.

Rookie wing Noah Brown will make his first Major League Rugby start on Saturday. The right wing came off the bench last weekend after the scary Nate Augspurger injury and the former-Hoosier immediately provided a spark. He finished the day with seven carries for 88 meters and beat four defenders in the process. The fourth overall pick from the 2023 MLR Collegiate Draft has game breaking speed that needs to be accounted for at all times.

Luke Carty gets the nod at fullback and will make his first start of the new season. The US Eagle only has one appearance on the season thus far, coming off the bench in Week 2 against the Warriors. Versatile back Michael Baska is named to the roster and the scrumhalf-turned-wing could make his second appearance of the year.

The History:

The Hounds and the Seawolves have two previous meetings on record, both going in favor of the Seawolves.

March 26, 2023 at SeatGeek Stadium: 27-5 Seattle (game concluded at halftime due to lightning)

May 20, 2023 at Starfire Stadium: 35-13, Seattle

Week 5 Roster: vs Seattle Seawolves

Zurabi Zhvania (4)

Guillermo Pujadas (4)

Ignacio Peculo (4)

Mason Flesch (31)

James Scott (4)

Mason Flesch (31)

Conall Boomer (2)

Luke White (68)

Nick McCarthy (4)

Adriaan Carelse (41)

Julian Dominguez (46)

Billy Meakes © (45)

Mark O'Keeffe (60)

Noah Brown (2)

Luke Carty (35)

Dylan Fawsitt (84)

Fred Apulu (9)

Charlie Abel (48)

Ben Landry (39)

Sam Peri (11)

Lucas Rumball (57)

Michael Baska (53)

Cassh Maluia (2)

Number denotes Major League Rugby caps as it currently stands*

• Discuss this story on the Major League Rugby message board...

Major League Rugby Stories from March 28, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Chicago Hounds Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central