The NOLA Gold Rugby Club extended the contract of Shawn Riley through the 2020 Major League Rugby season. He joined the team in 2019 after a tryout in a combine at Southern Pines, North Carolina. Shawn is 28-years-old (29 in Jan.), 5’10” and weighs 200 lbs.
Shawn grew up in Wooster, Ohio and attended Wooster High School playing football and track. He then attended Akron University before transferring to Notre Dame College. He played football for both colleges and switched to rugby in 2012. His senior year at Notre Dame College he earned USA Collegiate All-American Honorable Mention honors and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management.
Shawn played rugby sevens at the 2014Serevi Rugbytown Sevens for the USA Hawks and in 2015 at the Halloween Sevens with Ohio.
From 2015-2016 he trained with Tiger Rugby. In 2016 he played professionally for the Ohio Aviators and then following the season he played with Southern Pines, continuing through 2018.
Shawn also played representative rugby for USA Rugby South. In 2017 he played in the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament and against the Cayman Islands. In 2018 he played against Bermuda.
While playing for Southern Pines, the team reached the USA Rugby Club Nationals Final 4 in 2017 and in 2018 lost to the Atlanta Renegades in the Southern Conference Championship.
Shawn is poised to contribute to NOLA Gold Rugby in 2020 as he did in 2019. During the offseason, he played rugby sevens with National Athletic Village with the team advancing to the USA Club 7s Nationals.
NOLA Gold Rugby Comments
2019 – “WE HAVE SIGNED OUR FIRST PLAYER FROM THE 2018 TRYOUTS! We’re proud to announce the signing of outside back Shawn Riley. Shawn caught the attention of the Gold coaching staff with a stand out performance at the Gold tryouts in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Riley brings pace and power and is sure to prove a handful for defenses in 2019. Before the Gold, Riley played for Southern Pines and the Ohio Aviators. He did his schooling at Notre Dame College. Please join us in welcoming Shawn to the Big Easy!”
2020 – Ryan Fitzgerald, General Manager, said that “Shawn made great strides in his development last year and this offseason. He is a true professional in his daily approach, coachable and a great teammate. Shawn runs hard and plays fast and has the ability to be a consistent finisher on the wing for us. Excited to see him compete again this season with Nola Gold.”