FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MIKE BROWN RETURNS FROM AUSTIN ELITE
NEW YORK (November 19, 2018)- Hooker Mike Brown has signed with Rugby United New York for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. The forward spent 2018 with MLR’s Austin Elite after impressing with RUNY during the brief exhibition season last spring.
Although he was born in Michigan, Brown moved to South Africa at a young age. He began playing rugby when he was 12 while attending Selborne College.He moved back to America to finish high school, and then attended Bowling Green State University, where he was a Mid-American All-Conference selection four years in a row. In 2014, his senior year, he earned his way onto the Honorable Mention list for the Collegiate All Americans.
Upon graduation, Brown spent the following months with the Scottish Premiership’s Glasgow Hawks. He then moved to New York City to join Northeast powerhouse Old Blue. He was a mainstay for the club for 3 years as they competed in the American Rugby Premiership.
Brown appeared in all of the exhibition matches for RUNY last spring. Impressive performances caught the eye of Austin Elite, and he was sent on loan to the organization for the inaugural year of the league.
“I was thrilled to be playing in the inaugural MLR season,” Brown told us. “Being in that environment day in and day out gave me a great understanding of what it means to be a professional rugby player. New York has been my home the last 4 years though, so I’m excited to represent this city. I’m ready to get to work.”
“Mike showed that he was able to perform at a very good level last season while playing for both us and Austin,” Head Coach Mike Tolkin said. “He is an excellent teammate, and performs consistently well in the vital skills of hooker. We’re fortunate to have him back with us.”
New York City’s first professional rugby franchise will begin their Major League Rugby season on January 27, when they play the San Diego Legion at their home arena, Torero Stadium. The full 2019 schedule can be viewed 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. 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.
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 usmlr.com.