The LA Giltinis signed Ireland Sevens international Harry McNulty for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old (28 in March) is 6’2″ and 210 lbs.
Harry, who earlier this month [layed with the SX10s in the World Tens Series in Bermuda, was signed along with his brother Sean.
Harry was born in Bahrain to Irish parents. His father was employed in financial services and played rugby for Bahrain Rugby Club. His mother was a flight attendant, working for the King of Bahrain. At age two, his family moved to London for three years, before moving to Rye, New York for 10 years. While in New York, Harry enjoyed playing ice hockey with the Rye Rangers.
When he was 14, his father was transferred back to Bahrain. Harry went to Rockwell College, a boarding school in Tipperary, Ireland from 2006-2011 and was introduced to rugby. He also played tennis, golf, and swam. The rugby team was the 2010 Munster Senior Cup runners-up and in 2011 the champions.
He then played club rugby in 2011 with Garryowen before joining the Munster Academy from 2012 through 2013.
Harry attended the University of Limerick in a Bachelor of Science program in Food Science from 2012-2014 before transferring to University College Dublin in 2014 and graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science. He also spent a year in Australia at the University of Queensland in 2015 in a study-abroad program. While playing rugby at UCD, the team won the Division 1A All-Ireland League Championship in 2016.
Harry gained his rugby fame through rugby sevens. In 2016 he represented Ireland’s National Sevens Team in the Olympic qualifiers. In 2017, he played for Rugby Europe in the Grand Prix Sevens and was the leading try scorer at the Moscow Sevens with six tries. He also played for the Ramlin’ Jesters at the Rugbytown 7s.
In 2018 he played for Ireland at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco and won the Hong Kong qualifier in 2019, which gained the team core status in 2019-2020.
LA Giltinis Comments
The rare chance to play together has hooked the McNulty brothers as a double-dose of Irish impact on the impressive roster of the LA Giltinis.
Hooker Sean, 25, and backrower Harry, 27, are heading to Los Angeles is a major boost for Major League Rugby’s new hub.
Harry comes directly from Ireland’s Sevens program where he was a standout performer and the most capped player from 2015 until the cancellation of this year’s World Sevens Series circuit.
Younger brother Sean has already proven his value in MLR with stints at the New England Free Jacks and Rugby United New York.
“Harry and I have only ever played one season on the same team in Dublin for UCD RFC, so absolutely this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play together in professional rugby,” Sean enthused.
“To be able to do that in LA is going to be pretty electric…it’s arguably the sports capital of the world with the dynasties that exist there.
“The entertainment factor is huge in a city like that and we want to bring more trophies and a buzz of our own because I’ve seen firsthand how quickly MLR is growing.
“If you start with the coaching staff and playing roster being out together, the expertise is all top drawer to make a splash in our first season.”
Harry’s sevens career for Ireland, when he often played centre or wing, links his international eligibility to that country.
The international flavour of rugby has worked in his favour because LA Giltinis coach Darren Coleman had past connections with Irish Sevens boss Anthony Eddy, another Australian.
“It was a nice handover between Anthony and Darren and I’m grateful for this opportunity in what has been a strange climate for rugby this year,” Harry said.
“In 20 years, I never wanted to regret not taking the chance to play with Sean and I get to do it at a new club with new ideas.
“I got a taste of rugby American-style when I played at the LA Sevens and the 2018 World Cup Sevens (in San Francisco).
“It was epic how the fans got around it, from tailgating parties to being super vocal, and I expect the Giltinis will do it right and in LA style for the fans too.”
Playing two club games in Dublin for Old Belvedere and on the winning SX10 team at the World Tens in Bermuda in November have been valuable in Harry’s transition back to the 15-a-side game.
Giltinis assistant coach Stephen Hoiles said the package deal for the McNultys is a win for the club.
“I’ve seen a lot of Ireland play and Harry has always been a standout for his aerial work and being one of the best lineout jumpers in world sevens,” Hoiles said.
“He’s grown into a backrower’s body during his time in sevens and I look forward to helping him play at a high level.
The Giltinis will kick off their MLR campaign on the weekend of March 20, 2021, with tickets being available by the end of this year.