Native New Yorker Seamus Kelly Inks RUNY Deal




NEW YORK (September 11, 2018)- Rugby United New York has signed native New Yorker, USA Eagle #440, Seamus Kelly for the 2019 Major League Rugby Season. The center, from Breezy Point, Queens, adds to an already strong backline, consisting of recent signings Cathal Marsh (Leinster) and Ben Foden (Northampton Saints.)

Kelly was a standout in both football and rugby at Xavier High School in Manhattan. Mike Tolkin, Head Coach of Rugby United New York, was leading the school’s rugby program at the time. He saw a unique talent in the young center from the beginning. He looks forward to their reunion in Major League Rugby.

“Seamus is an elite athlete who brings massive rugby experience to the squad,” Tolkin said. “He always demands excellence from his performance and takes great pride in being able to put on the local jersey. He will continue to put in exciting performances for the fans of Rugby United New York.”

Kelly went on to be a four time Collegiate All American while studying at California University, Berkeley. During his tenure, the Golden Bears won two 15’s National Championships, as well as back-to-back 7’s Collegiate Rugby Championships. His success at the collegiate level, in addition to impressing on All American tours, led to increased looks with the USA Men’s National team.

He made his debut for the Eagles in May of 2013 against North American rival Canada. Kelly appeared an additional twenty-two times for the men’s national team. He started in twenty of his twenty-three caps, highlighted by his three starts in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

He has been playing with the New York Athletic Club since returning to his hometown. This past spring, he played Major League Rugby sides Houston Sabercats and Glendale Raptors with the Winged Foot. He also appeared in two matches for Rugby United New York in the 2018 exhibition season. He is looking forward to showcasing what RUNY can do next year as they enter MLR.

“The exhibition season was a lot of fun,” Kelly said. “I’m excited to be back with this team. We have a chance to represent how good New York’s talent is. I expect good things to come from Rugby United New York as we join Major League Rugby.”

"Seamus grew up in New York, lives in New York, and embodies what it is to be a New Yorker," Director of Rugby James English said. "He demands much of himself and team mates and will be at the heart of what we are building here at Rugby United New York."


The RUNY Major League rugby season will start in January 2019.You can place season ticket deposits online here.

About Rugby United New York

Rugby United New York is a professional rugby team who joined Major League Rugby as an associate member in 2018, playing a brief, but successful exhibition season. Their first full MLR schedule will take place in 2019. When they officially join the league, RUNY's vision is to bring the excitement of professional rugby to the New York sports landscape. The use of rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, and discipline will help to educate, inspire and connect with the New York Community. Rugby United New York, the city’s first professional rugby franchise, strives to unite the entire rugby community and enrich it at every level throughout the region. The team was founded by James Kennedy of the Murphy Kennedy Group, who is an active supporter of grassroots rugby.

About MLR

MLR is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of the American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. For more information, visit



Photo Credit: USA Rugby



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