Newcastle Falcons & Paul Mullen
The Newcastle Falcons announced on 14 August 2018 that Paul Mullen signed a short-term, four-month contract to play as part of the Gallagher Premiership season.
Mullen is from the Aran Islands, Galway, Ireland. He was USA eligible and previously played for the USA under-20s in Tbilisi, Georgia at the Junior World Rugby Trophy.
Mullen also played age grade rugby for Munster under-18s, 19s, and 20s, as well as for Ireland under-19s.
In 2011, Mullen moved to Texas and in 2015 earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University. He then continued education at Texas A&M in Galveston from 2015-2017, earning a Master’s Degree in Marine Resources Management.
While in Texas, Mullen played for HARC and later for Galveston Rugby Club. In 2014 he played with the Texas Rugby Union All-Stars and also became a Texas Rugby Union referee.
In 2018, he played professional rugby with the Houston Sabercats and has proven to be a dominant front row player. USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Head Coach Gary Gold recognized his talent and he joined the national team for the Summer 2018 test victories against Russia, Scotland, and Canada.
By signing a short-term contract, Mullen can gain valuable high performance time with the Premiership club, the Newcastle Falcons. He then is in a position to extend his contract or to return to the Houston Sabercats for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. The time spent will also prepare him for USA national team for the Americas Rugby Championship in February and March.
Newcastle Falcons on Paul Mullen
Speaking after completing his move to Kingston Park, Mullen said: “I am delighted to be joining Newcastle and am looking forward to developing my game further alongside a great squad.”
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Paul has broken through to the full international scene in quite a big way over the past few months, and been part of a rapidly-improving American Eagles side.
“His presence will further bolster our front-row resources going into the new Gallagher Premiership season as we look to improve yet again on what was our best league finish for 20 years.”
Mullen’s arrival comes on the back of the previously-announced signings of George McGuigan (Leicester Tigers), Pedro Bettencourt (Carcassonne), Logovi’i Mulipola (Leicester Tigers), Guy Graham (Hawick), Tom Arscott (Rouen), Connor Collett (North Harbour), Nemani Nagusa (Aurillac) and Johnny Williams (London Irish), as well as senior academy promotions for England Under-18s stars Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, Morgan Passman, Will Montgomery, Tom Marshall, Josh Hodge and Rob Farrar.