Seattle Seawolves & Mike Palefau
The Seattle Seawolves have signed former Eagles 15s (#342) and 7s player Mike Palefau at fullback for the inaugural Major League Rugby 2018 season. He is 36 years old, 6’1″ and 205 pounds.
Mike was born in Kahuku, Hawaii, and began playing rugby at 18 years old after gaining All-State honors in track as a sprinter. He also played volleyball and rugby in high school, and in the latter, was selected to the Pacific Coast Rugby All-Star team.
After high school, he attended Southern Utah University from 2004 to his graduation in 2008, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education. He continued with track and lettered in both indoor and outdoor track & field in 2004 at SUU, “was a member of team champion squads in both, as well as earning all-conference recognition as a member of the team’s outdoor 4×4 relay squad.” He also played football for the Thunderbirds at cornerback and was a member of the rugby team.
While at Southern Utah University, he was selected as collegiate All-American and in 2004 played for the Provo Steelers in Club 7s.
Palefau made his international debut with both the Eagles 7s & 15s squad in 2005. In 7s his debut came in the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong. He made 29 appearances for the Eagles 7s, his last being at the end of the 2013-2014 season. He also has 11 caps for the Eagles XVs. His debut was against Canada on May 25, 2005, in Tokyo. His last appearance was against England A in Ottawa on June 7, 2008.
Palefau also played rugby professionally with RC Narbonne in France from 2006 to 2007 and Petrarca Rugby in Italy from 2007 to 2008. He then took time away from rugby from international rugby from 2009 through 2011 to obtain his Master’s Degree in Sports Conditioning and Performance from Southern Utah University. During this time he played with the Gentlemen of Aspen in 2009, assisted the Las Vegas Blackjacks in winning the D1 USA Rugby Club National Championship in 2010, as well as in playing in the Humless 7s. He represented the Utah Warriors 7s in 2011. He also played with the Park City Haggis.
Palefau continued his education from 2012-2015 and obtained an MBA Degree from Keller Graduate School of Management. While in Seattle, he played in the USA Rugby Super League for the Old Puget Sound Beach in 2012 and has been with the team ever since, through its merger with Seattle RFC and in subsequently becoming the Seattle Saracens.
Palefau captained the Seattle Saracens 7s squad at the 2014 World Club 7s Championship and in 2017 competed with the Washington Athletic Club at the Club 7s National Championship.
In the Seattle Seawolves team release, Head Coach Tony Healy said about USA Eagles veteran, Mike Palefau that “We are excited to have quality men and players like Mike. His experience, game intelligence, and leadership will be important to building our team culture and team’s success.”
Mike Palefau then added that he is ready for the season and “I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’ve been waiting for a long time for Seattle to get back into the American rugby scene.”
“Palefau’s extensive experience and proven leadership will be tremendous assets to the Seattle Seawolves.”
Seattle Seawolves Rugby
- Curry Hitchborn – Rugby Development Director
- Brian Jones – Chief Commercial Officer
- John Clavin – Advisory Board
- Tony Healy – Head Coach
- Phil Mack – Player/Coach
- Matthew Turner – Operations Director & Player
- Ray Barkwill – Hooker
- Olive Kilifi – Prop
- Eric Duechle – Backrow
- Shalom Suniula – Flyhalf
- George Barton – Center
- Aladdin Schirmer – Backrow
- Brock Staller – Outside Center
- Jeremy Lenaerts – Lock
- Riekert Hattingh – Eight-man
- Garrett Bender – Backrow
- John Hayden – Prop
- Mike Palefau – Fullback