FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USA INTERNATIONAL NATE BRAKELEY SIGNS WITH RUGBY UNITED NEW YORK
NEW YORK (September 25, 2018)- Rugby United New York has signed Lock Nate Brakeley for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. Brakeley is the third USA national team player to sign with New York City’s first professional rugby franchise. The Lock started all three matches for RUNY this past spring.
Brakeley is originally from Marblehead, Massachusetts, and was introduced to the sport as a freshman at St. John’s high school. After impressing in the classroom, and imposing on the field, he continued his education and athletic career at Ivy League powerhouse Dartmouth College.
He burst onto the collegiate rugby scene and led Dartmouth to a pair of Collegiate Rugby Championships before graduating from the New Hampshire school. He then studied at Cambridge University (England) and played in the heralded “Varsity Match,” an annual match played against rival Oxford University. He graduated from the school with his Masters of Engineering.
In Fall of 2013, he came to the city to join the New York Athletic Club. In 2015, he helped the Winged Foot win a National Championship, which led to extended looks with the national team. He made his debut for the Eagles against Canada in the 2016 Americas Rugby Championship. He has gone on to feature for the senior side 15 times. Just recently, Brakeley was selected for the USA Men’s Selects side, as they play in the Americas Pacific Challenge this fall.
“Nate has had a steady and continuously positive progression over the last few years, from University level rugby into the Eagles,” RUNY Head Coach Mike Tolkin said. “He has performed at a consistently high level, displaying how the modern lock plays the game.”
Brakeley was a staple of the RUNY forward pack during the exhibition season. He looks forward to joining Major League Rugby for the 2019 season.
“The 2018 season was a resounding success on a number of levels. The product we put together, on and off the field, exceeded our expectations,” Brakeley said. “The first game, a win against the Toronto Arrows, set the tone. Moving forward, we have all the tools to be successful in the 2019 MLR season.”
“I am very pleased to have Nate on board,” Tolkin continued. “He has become an effective leader and will be a central part of the success that we hope to achieve this season.”
Nate adds to a talented roster consisting of USA Internationals Seamus Kelly and Dylan Fawsitt, England International Ben Foden, and former Leinster Fly Half Cathal Marsh.
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.