Houston SaberCats signed Thretton Palamo for the remainder of the 2019 Major League Rugby season. The 30-year-old center is 6’2″ and 256 lbs.
Thretton was born in Woodland, California and grew up in Winters. He attended Davis Senior High School where he played basketball, football and began playing rugby at age 16 with his two older brothers Toshi and Seta for San Francisco Golden Gate. This earned him a spot for the USA Under-16s. He later played club rugby for the Sacramento Lions.
While in high school, he played for Samoa Under-19s from 2005-2007, making 3 appearances and also played sevens for Samoa, where his father Arona was born. Prior to reaching 18, he committed to playing for the USA national team.
From 2007-2008, he made 5 appearances for the USA Under-20s and was selected for the 2007 Rugby World Cup where he made his Senior debut on September 30 against South Africa. This made him the youngest player to play in an RWC at age 19 and 8 days. That record was broken in 2015 by Vasil Lobzhanidze, who played for Georgia a month prior to turning 19.
Thretton has since made 17 National team appearances, starting 13 times. His last match was against Tonga on November 19, 2016. He played in the 2007 RWC and then again in the 2015 RWC.
Tretton has also played in 19 World Sevens Series tournaments beginning with the 2008-2009 season and was accepted Sevens residency in 2016.
He began his professional rugby career in the 2008-2009 season with France Top 14 League’s Biarritz Olympique and then was placed on hold as returned to the U.S. to resume his education at the University of Utah.
At Utah, he played rugby and the team won the inaugural Collegiate Rugby Championship in 2010 with a 31-26 overtime win over Cal. In that match, he scored two tries. In 2011 he was a walk-on as a running back in football before earning a scholarship for his remaining 3 years.
Tretton then resumed his professional rugby career with the Saracens from 2014-2016, making 3 appearances. For the 2015-2016 season, he was loaned to the London Welsh and then left in December 2015 to concentrate on Sevens with the USA in residency.
The Bristol Bears won promotion to Premiership Rugby in 2016 and he joined the team until 2018. In 2017 he was loaned to Newport Gwent Dragons in Pro14 Rugby as injury cover.
He now joins the Houston SaberCats for 2019 where he will be reunited with his coach Blake Burdette from University of Utah and now also with the SaberCats.