Rugby United New York & Nate Brakeley
Rugby United New York signed Eagle lock and flanker Nate Brakeley for the 2019 major League Rugby season. Nate is 29 years old, 6’5”, and weighs 260 pounds.
Brakeley is from Marblehead, Massachusetts and was introduced to rugby during his freshman year at St. John’s Prep. While there he also played as a lineman in football. After graduating, he went to Dartmouth College and helped to led the team to the 2011 and 2012 Collegiate Rugby Championship.
After graduating from Dartmouth College, attended Cambridge University where he graduated in 2012 with an M.Phil. in Energy Technology. He continued with rugby and played for Cambridge in the Varsity Match 26-19 loss to Oxford University. He also played for the team against the USA Men’s Collegiate All-Americans.
Since Fall, 2013 he has played for New York Athletic Club and was part of the team’s USA Club Rugby Division 1 National Championship.
Nate Brakeley & USA National Team
Brakeley debuted for the Eagles (No. 469) against Canada on February 13, 2016, at the Americas Rugby Championship. For that match, he played flanker in the team’s 30-22 win over Canada.
Since then, Brakeley has earned 15 caps and scored one try against Canada in the team’s 52-16 win in winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifier.
Nate was also selected for the 2018 USA Rugby Selects for the Americas Pacific Challenge in October.
Nate Brakeley and Professional Rugby
Like many rugby players in the New York area, employment concerns have impacted signing with professional teams outside the area. With the onset of Major League Rugby, that has created new opportunities for players.
Brakeley signed with Rugby United New York for their 2018 three-match exhibition season and he will continue in 2019 as the team has gained full MLR membership. Nate will play lock for the team and joins other USA Internationals Seamus Kelly and Dylan Fawsitt, England International Ben Foden, and former Leinster Fly Half Cathal Marsh.
Rugby United New York Release
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 continued 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.