Mike Petri Named NYAC Rugby Head Coach

Mike Petri was named head coach of New York Athletic Club Rugby for the 2019 Elite Cup season.

The Rugby United New York captain was named to the preliminary training squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He had an outstanding MLR season and was named to the All-MLR Second Team. Following the season, he continued to be involved with rugby coaching clinics.

Mike’s rugby career began his freshman year in 1998 at Xavier High School. He helped to lead the team to 3rd place in the East Coast Championship in 1999, and to becoming East Coast Champions in 2000-2002. In 2000-2002 the team went to USA High School Nationals and finished in 4th, 3rd, and 4th place, respectively.

After graduating from Xavier, he attended Penn State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences with a minor in Business in 2006. He achieved Collegiate All-American honors in rugby all four years, was selected. His Senior year he was Collegiate All-Star Tournament MVP and was the 2006 recipient of the Doug Edwards Award that was for the most outstanding Collegiate rugby player.

Mike Petri and USA Rugby National Team

Petri also achieved National team honors, captaining the USA Rugby Under-19s and the Collegiate All-Americans. In 2007 he then made his Senior National team debut against South Africa on September 30 at Montpellier, France at the Rugby World Cup. He would go on to earn 57 caps, starting 40 matches and scoring 33 points through six tries and a drop goal.

Petri played in three Rugby World Cups beginning in 2007 in France, 2011 in New Zealand where he was the vice-captain, and in 2015 in the United Kingdom. In 2015 he retired from international test rugby following his RWC 2015 match against Japan at Gloucester on Oct 11.

Mike Petri and Club Rugby

After graduating from Penn State, Mike played for Belmont Shore RFC, helping them win the Super League Championship in 2007.

He then came back to New York and has played with New York Athletic Club since then. In 2008, 2010, and in 2012 the team won the Super League Championship and in 2015 the Division 1 Club Championship. In 2010, while he was captain of the team, he was selected as the Finals MVP and he also achieved those honors in 2015. In 2011 he was also selected as the New York Athletic Club Male Athlete of the Year.

Mike also made an appearance in 2009 with the Barbarians touring side.

Mike Petri and Professional Rugby

Mike began his professional rugby career in 2010 with Premiership Rugby’s Sale Sharks. He then played with Pro12 Rugby’s Newport Gwent Dragons in 2010-2011, making three appearances.

With the formation of Major League Rugby, Mike played with Rugby United New York in 2018 for their three-match exhibition season and as the team’s captain during the 2019 season.

Mike Petri and Coaching

Since returning to New York, Mike has been an Assistant Rugby Coach at Xavier High School and has served as the Strength and Conditioning Co-Director.

During his tenure at Xavier High School, the team placed 3rd in Nationals in 2012, were the Rugby NY Champions in 2013-2018 and the team went to Nationals each of those years, finishing 3rd, 4th, 5th, 3rd, 6th, and in 4th place, respectively.

Petri has also been a Nike Summer Camp Director since 2013 and a Hofstra University Camp Director since 2016.

Mike Petri, Author

Petri is also an accomplished author, writing the successful children’s alphabet book R is for Rugby, which was published in June 2015. You can purchase his work here.

Rugby United New York Comments

“Last season was a small sample of what’s in store for the coming year,” Petri said. “But it was just enough to know that something special is happening in our city. It’s a charge being led by a passionate group of people on and off the field. The 2019 MLR season will undoubtedly bring strong community culture to rugby in New York City.”

“Mike was the professional rugby player in the USA before professional rugby existed here,” General Manager James English told us. “His dedication to the game has made him a role model for the next generation of American rugby players. There is no one more fitting to be at the heart of this New York team as we take on MLR.”

“He brings so much experience from being in 3 World Cups and having scores of Eagle caps,” added Head Coach Mike Tolkin. “His work ethic and competitiveness have not diminished at all. I know he is reinvigorated and energized with this new opportunity to compete at a high level.”

NYAC Release

The A.C would like to welcome newly appointed Head Coach- Mike Petri for the 2019 Elite Cup Fall Season.

Petri has over 50 test caps for the United States national rugby union team and has represented the USA at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, and the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

He is currently the captain of New York City’s first professional rugby team- Rugby United New York.

Petri has been a long-serving player for the AC and has led the club to national championship titles in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2015.

We are extremely excited about his return to the club!

The club will be playing their first game of the fall season this Saturday, Sept 7th at 1 pm- Travers Island!

Other Articles

DJCoil Rugby articles by Doug Coil are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.

About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant