RUNY & Connor Wallace-Sims
USA Eagles 7s player Connor Wallace-Sims has signed with Rugby United New York for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. The 23-year-old, from Plymouth, United Kingdom, appeared in all 3 matches for RUNY during their 2018 exhibition season against the Ontario Arrows and home and away match against the Boston Mystics.
Wallace-Sims began playing rugby at age 9 after watching the Rugby World Cup 2003 and gaining the approval of his family. He initially played for his hometown club, Devonport Services, continuing to age 16. He attended Coombe Dean School, leaving in June 2011 and then played rugby at Ivybridge College for the next two years. The latter was a feeder team for Gallagher Premiership’s Exeter Chiefs. Then it was on to Canterbury Rugby Football Club, in the National 2 League.
Wallace-Sims was then selected to play for the USA U20 team in the 2014 Junior World Rugby Trophy competition. The team finished third, beating Hong Kong, Georgia, and Uruguay along the way.
Viewing the New York City 7s, Northeast Academy team play on television in Twickenham. inspired him to move to New York after being recruited by Marty Veale for the Old Blue Rugby Football Club. There he excelled at both rugby 15s and 7s for the club.
In 2015 he had played for the Northeast Academy NY City 7s at the Rugbytown 7s, the Halloween 7s in Florida and then the New York City 7s, where he earned MVP honors. By October, 2016 he was invited to Eagles Camp and soon after debuted to the Eagles 7s in the HSBC Sevens Series in Wellington, New Zealand and in Sydney, Australia. He also gained residency at the Olympic Training Center at Chula Vista, California.
In January 2018 he also played with the USA Falcons on their South American tour at the Punta del Este Sevens and the Vina del Mar Sevens.
By March 2018 he signed with Rugby United New York and appeared in all 3 matches for their 2018 exhibition season. His quick hands, feet, and decision making made it an easy decision to re-sign him for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. He is a versatile back, who is 5’10” tall and weighs 186 pounds. He has played inside center, wing, and fullback.
“The exhibition season was a great experience. It gave us insight about what to expect in Major League Rugby,” Wallace-Sims told us. “It was great fun joining forces with top players from our rival clubs. I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing against some top teams next year.”
“He has emerged as a talented and multifaceted player in the RUNY squad,” Head Coach Mike Tolkin said. “His ability as a dangerous attacker, who possesses multiple tools, was on display during last year’s short campaign. We look forward to building on what he has already shown us.”
“Not only is Connor a gifted and hardworking rugby player,” RUNY Owner James Kennedy added. “He also brings fantastic character to the squad. During the exhibition season, he would take the long train ride to the Aisling Irish Center in the Bronx, volunteering to help feed the homeless. He really wants to make an impact in our community. You can’t coach that. We’re lucky to have him.”
The Major League Rugby season will commence in January of 2019.