The LA Giltinis are delighted to sign powerful Australian prop Charlie Abel and his proven track record in helping to build a winning rugby club.
Abel, 28, is a hand-picked recruit after being a key cog in the championship success of Giltinis head coach Darren Coleman at his most recent club in Australia.
Abel brings grunt, aggression and adaptable scrummaging skills to the Giltinis and Major League Rugby in a sturdy 260lb (118kg) package.
He is coming off a breakout season which included trial time for the NSW Waratahs, a debut for the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby AU and a championship with Coleman’s Gordon club in Sydney.
“The thing that excites me most is starting something brand new in Los Angeles and knowing that DC (Coleman) can bring it all to life,” Abel said.
“One of DC’s very best traits is that he has high expectations of what he and the players can do.
“He pushes everyone hard, drives workrate in everyone and he expects winning.
“I’ve seen clips of games in the United States. Rugby could be massive, almost unstoppable, and MLR can only grow and grow.”
The Coleman touch has brought out the best in Abel.
Abel admits he’s fitter, gets through more work and has polished his skills in two seasons with Coleman and wants the trend to continue in Los Angeles.
Being able to improve under former British and Irish Lions prop Alex Corbisiero, the Giltinis’ prize signing as scrum coach, is a big attraction.
“You are always learning as a prop and you can only get better being around the players and the coaches the Giltinis are signing,” Abel said.
“I got to learn a lot from a Test prop (Wallaby Cam Blades) as scrum coach at Gordon and I’m really looking forward to all I can soak up from Alex.
“I want to do my bit too in youth development and coaching with young players around LA so hopefully that’s an area I can get into for the club.”
Abel is from a rugby-mad family. Brothers Robbie and Jacob also play professionally in Australia.
“Charlie will be a real gem for us in MLR,” Coleman said.
“He will focus on playing tighthead prop but he can actually play all three front-row positions which gives us so much versatility.
“He’s talented with ball-in-hand, can whack in defence and he’s good at the breakdown to go with a strong set piece.”
The Giltinis will kick off their MLR campaign on the weekend of March 20, 2021, with tickets being available by the end of this year.
For more info on the MLR season and how to support the LA Giltinis, head to www.giltinis.com