Rugby United New York

Rugby United New York, known as RUNY, is a professional rugby union team based in New York City that is a member of Major League Rugby (MLR). The team played an exhibition season in spring 2018 and joined MLR for its second full season in 2019.[1][2] The team was founded by James Kennedy.[3]

Rugby United New York
Founded2018 (2018)
LocationConey Island, Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Ground(s)MCU Park (Capacity: 7,000)
ChairmanJames Kennedy
John Layfield
Coach(es)Greg McWilliams (Head Coach)
Marty Veale (Forwards)
Simon Gillespie (Skills)
Captain(s)Mike Petri
Top scorerCathal Marsh (69)
Most triesDylan Fawsitt (13)
League(s)Major League Rugby
20194th placed (regular season)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website


In its 2018 exhibition season, RUNY was led by former USA men's national team coach Mike Tolkin, and assistant coaches Bruce McLane (former coach of New York Athletic Club RFC), Andrew Britt, and Vili Vakasisikakala.[1] The team's 2018 spring season consisted of matches against the Ontario Arrows and the Mystic River Rugby Club of Boston.[1] The team played its home matches at Gaelic Park in The Bronx.[4] The team played its first match on March 17, 2018, at Mazzella Field in New Rochelle, New York.[5] New York defeated the Ontario Arrows by a score of 36–19.[5] RUNY played its first match in New York City against Mystic River on March 24 before a sold-out crowd at Gaelic Park.[6] New York defeated Mystic River by a score of 50–0.[6]

Ahead of the 2019 season, RUNY announced that they had retained Mike Tolkin as the team's head coach,[7] signed Kees Lensing as the team's forwards coach,[8] and named James English as general manager.[9]

On November 7, 2018, RUNY announced that MCU Park in Brooklyn would be their home field for their first full season.[10]


2019 home games were shown on SportsNet New York (SNY). Matt McCarthy, John Broker and Steve Lewis were the on air talent.


Season Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2018 Paladin Sports Murphy Kennedy Group
2019 XBlades
2020-present Paladin Sports


The following players have been reported for New York for the 2020 season:[11][12]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Mike Brown Hooker United States
Rob Irimescu Hooker United States
Dylan Fawsitt Hooker United States
Callum Mackintosh Hooker Scotland
Kirkland Hamilton Prop United States
Anthony Parry Prop United States
Brian McKellar Prop United States
Jamal Hadley Prop United States
James Rochford Prop Ireland
Paddy Ryan Prop United States
Nate Brakeley Lock United States
Trevor Cassidy Lock United States
Cormac Daly Lock Ireland
Kyle White Lock United States
Myles McQuone Lock United States
Matt Wirken Lock United States
James Denise Flanker United States
Matt Hughston Flanker United States
Alex MacDonald Flanker United States
John Quill Flanker United States
Kyle Sumsion Number 8 United States
Player Position Union
Jason Higgins Scrum-half Ireland
Mike Petri Scrum-half United States
Marcus Walsh* Scrum-half Ireland
Harry Bennett* Fly-half Australia
Jimmy Wolfer Fly-half United States
Cathal Marsh Fly-half Ireland
JP Aguirre* Centre Argentina
Mathieu Bastareaud Centre France
Will Leonard Centre Ireland
Jake Feury Centre United States
Quentin Pradere Centre England
Chris Mattina Centre United States
Seimou Smith Centre United States
Chris Vakasisikala* Centre Fiji
Mike St. Claire Wing Jamaica
Derek Lipscomb Wing United States
Mark O'Keeffe Wing Ireland
Marcus Satavu Wing United States
Connor Wallace-Sims Wing United States
Erik Tak Wing United States
Gavan D’Amore-Morrison Wing United States
Ben Foden Fullback England
Troy Lockyear Fullback England
  • Senior 15s and senior 7s internationally capped players in bold
  • Players qualified to play for United States on dual nationality or residency grounds*


Season standings

Year Pos Pld W D L F A +/− BP Pts   Playoffs
2019 4th 161105411320+911054   Lost semi-final 22-24 to San Diego Legion


2018 season

All games in the 2018 season were exhibition games and did not count in the league standings.

March 17Ontario ArrowsHomeMazzella FieldNew Rochelle, New YorkWon, 36–19[13]
March 24Mystic River Rugby ClubHomeGaelic ParkRiverdale, Bronx, New YorkWon, 50–0[14]
March 31Mystic River Rugby ClubAwayMignone FieldAllston, MassachusettsWon, 42–24[15]
April 14Ontario ArrowsAwayYork Lions StadiumToronto, OntarioGame cancelled due to weather

2019 season


December 1, 2018New England Free JacksAwayUnion Point Sports ComplexWon, 38–35
December 15, 2018Capital SelectsHomeMazzella FieldWon, 100–0
January 12, 2019Toronto ArrowsNeutralBuffalo Bills FieldhouseCancelled

Regular season

January 27San Diego LegionAwayTorero StadiumWon, 25-23
February 16New Orleans GoldAwayArchbishop ShawWon, 27–24
February 24Seattle SeawolvesAwayStarfire StadiumLost, 21-33
March 2Houston SaberCatsAwayConstellation FieldWon, 35-8
March 9Utah WarriorsAwayZions Bank StadiumWon, 47-21
March 15Toronto ArrowsHomeMCU ParkWon, 24–21
March 24Glendale RaptorsHomeMCU ParkWon, 31-19
March 30Austin EliteAwayToyota FieldWon, 19-11
April 14San Diego LegionHomeMCU ParkLost, 19–29
April 20Utah WarriorsHomeMCU ParkWon, 24–22
April 26Glendale RaptorsAwayInfinity ParkLost, 16–20
May 5Houston SaberCatsHomeMCU ParkWon, 21–0
May 12Seattle SeawolvesHomeMCU ParkLost, 31–38
May 19Austin EliteHomeMCU ParkWon, 27-7
May 26New Orleans GoldHomeMCU ParkWon, 24–22
June 2Toronto ArrowsAwayLamport StadiumLost, 20-22

Post season

June 9San Diego LegionAwayLost, 22-24

2020 season

Regular season

February 8New England Free JacksAwayTBD
February 15Austin HerdHomeTBD
February 23Rugby ATLAwayLupo Family Field @ Life University
February 29Houston SaberCatsAwayAveva Stadium
March 8San Diego LegionAwayTorero Stadium
March 14Seattle SeawolvesHomeMCU Park
March 22Toronto ArrowsHomeMCU Park
March 29Old Glory DCAwayCardinal Stadium @ Catholic University
April 10Rugby ATLHomeMCU Park
April 18NOLA GoldAwayThe Gold Mine
April 25Colorado RaptorsHomeMCU Park
May 1New England Free JacksHomeMCU Park
May 9Old Glory DCHomeMCU Park
May 16Utah WarriorsAwayZions Bank Stadium
May 22Toronto ArrowsAwayLamport Stadium
May 30NOLA GoldHomeMCU Park


During the inaugural season, RUNY signed a partnership deal with Magners Irish Cider,[16] the official drink partner and Bawnmore Irish Beef Jerky[17] as the official snack partner for the 2019 season. They also partnered up with EVF Performance,[18] the team's official gym and Motion PT Group, named the official physical therapy partner for the team.[19]

Season Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2019 XBlades Murphy Kennedy Group
2020-present Paladin Sports TBD


  1. "MLR announces New York team for 2019". Major League Rugby. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  2. Pengelly, Martin (March 26, 2018). "Firefighters and cops face off as New York's pro rugby team debuts". The Guardian. New York, NY. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  3. Melanson, Jack (March 30, 2018). "Packed house welcomes pro rugby to Gaelic Park". Riverdale Press. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  4. Mitchell, Alex (March 19, 2018). "New York's first professional rugby team is coming to the Bronx". Bronx Times-Reporter. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  5. "New York win historic first match over Ontario". Americas Rugby News. March 17, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  6. "New York blank Boston on historic night in the Bronx". Americas Rugby News. March 25, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  7. "Tolkin confirmed as New York MLR coach". Americas Rugby News. August 7, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  8. "Rugby United New York Signs Forwards Coach Kees Lensing". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  9. "Rugby United New York Announces James English as GM". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  10. Rugby United NY (2018-11-07), Rugby United New York's Stadium Announcement, retrieved 2018-11-08
  11. "2018 Major League Rugby – Rugby United New York". Americas Rugby News. 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  12. "MLR Off-Season Update - December 13, 2018". Americas Rugby News. 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
  13. "Rugby United New York defeat Ontario Arrows 36-19 in first MLR match". djcoilrugby. 2018-03-18. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  14. "Rugby United New York hosts Boston Mystic River March 24". djcoilrugby. 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  15. "Boston Mystic River hosts Rugby United New York in a rematch at Harvard". djcoilrugby. 2018-03-31. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
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