USA Rugby Star Mike Petri Signs with RUNY




NEW YORK (October 25, 2018)- Rugby United New York is excited to announce the signing of native New Yorker Mike Petri. The scrum half played every game for RUNY in the 2018 exhibition season, scoring three tries in the process. His impressive career spans almost 20 years.

Petri started playing at local juggernaut Xavier High School. With the U19 National Team, he competed in two Junior World Championships, 2002 in Italy, and 2003 in France- when he led the team as captain. He continued to dominate at Pennsylvania State University, earning selection to the Collegiate All-American team all four years he was on campus. In 2006, he was voted as the Collegiate All-Star Tournament MVP.

In 2007, Petri joined Belmont Shore, winning a Super League championship his first year with the team. The next year, Petri linked up with his hometown team, New York Athletic Club, and won Super League/ Division 1 Championships in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2015. He was the finals MVP in 2010 and 2015. During the 2010 season, he also spent time with Premiership’s Sale Sharks. In 2011, he made three appearances with the Newport Gwent Dragons in Wales. Later that year, Petri was voted the New York Athletic Club Male Athlete of the Year.

Petri earned his first cap with the national team in 2007, and has gone on to represent the United States 57 times, making him the most capped back in USA’s history. He has appeared in three Rugby World Cups, 2007, 2011, and 2015, and was voted as Vice-Captain for the 2011 tournament. He also made an appearance with the heralded Barbarians touring side in 2009.

“Last season was a small sample of what’s in store for the coming year,” Petri said. “But it was just enough to know that something special is happening in our city. It’s a charge being led by a passionate group of people on and off the field. The 2019 MLR season will undoubtedly bring a strong community culture to rugby in New York City.”

“Mike was the professional rugby player in the USA before professional rugby existed here,” General Manager James English told us. “His dedication to the game has made him a role model for the next generation of American rugby players. There is no one more fitting to be at the heart of this New York team as we take on MLR.”

“He brings so much experience from being in 3 World Cups and having scores of Eagle caps,” added Head Coach Mike Tolkin. “His work ethic and competitiveness have not diminished at all. I know he is reinvigorated and energized with this new opportunity to compete at a high level.”

In addition to being a star rugby player, Petri is also an accomplished author, writing the successful children’s alphabet book R is for Rugby. You are able to purchase his work 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 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


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