UP AND COMING STAR SEIMOU SMITH SIGNS WITH RUNY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UP AND COMING STAR SEIMOU SMITH SIGNS WITH RUNY
NEW YORK (January 6, 2019)- Rugby United New York is excited to announce the signing of up and coming center Seimou Smith, the versatile crossover athlete from Concord, New Hampshire. Smith was brought into the squad after impressing Head Coach Mike Tolkin during scouting visits within the Empire GU earlier this fall.
Smith, born in Guinea on the west side of Africa, moved to New Hampshire at a young age. His father, a first generation American, understood the opportunities America could provide for his young family and ultimately decided the move would be the best decision for them. He earned his citizenship, went to college, and is now working for the government.
The move introduced a young Seimou to American football, and he quickly took to the sport, excelling from early on. He played throughout high school, before earning a coveted walk-on spot with Southern Connecticut State University’s football program. In his Freshman season in 2015, Smith was a Northeast-10 Conference All-Rookie Selection. He played in all 11 games, catching 34 passes for over 400 yards and three touchdowns as a Wide Receiver.
He parlayed his athletic ability into an opportunity with SCSU’s Rugby program. In 2015, his first year with the team, he was an all-conference selection. He went on to earn multiple All-American honors.
After his impressive collegiate career, Smith helped develop his skills by joining the Bulldogs Rugby team. He then linked up with the New Haven Old Blacks club, competing in the Empire GU. RUNY Head Coach, Mike Tolkin, noticed Smith while scouting for talent at a New Haven match this past fall. His undeniable athletic ability, coupled with his raw skill set, earned him a development contract with the New York franchise throughout the pre-season.
Smith made the most of this opportunity, making a name for himself in the first annual Cold War preseason match against the Boston Free Jacks. His impressive form continued against the Capital Selects, scoring multiple trys and delivering punishing hits. General Manager James English knew they had to lock Smith in, and his first professional rugby contract was offered.
“My football background has translated well into my rugby game,” Smith told us. “Rugby is a different game than football, both mentally and physically. I’m still learning a lot. If I mess up, I try and fix the mistake immediately. My commitment to getting better will be my biggest aid.”
“Seimou is the classic story of a fantastic cross over athlete discovering rugby and quickly excelling at it,” Tolkin said. “We discovered Seimou at a local club match, and since being brought into our squad, he has displayed great natural instincts and outstanding athleticism. He is an exciting player to watch, I’m sure he will have great success moving forward.”
Smith joins a backline loaded with talent, consisting of stars Ben Foden, Cathal Marsh, Chris Mattina, and Mike Petri. The Rugby United New York season will begin on January 27th against the San Diego Legion. The game will be broadcast LIVE on SNY, the official television home of Rugby United New York, at 5 PM EST.
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.
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.
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- Callum Mackintosh
- Capital Selects
- Cathal Marsh
- Chris Mattina
- Fly Half
- Harry Bennett
- James Rochford
- John Quill
- Myles McQuone
- Paddy Ryan
- Seimou Smith
- USA Rugby
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