The LA Giltinis signed Sean McNulty for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old Hooker, who can play back-row (26 in July), is 6’2″ and 240 lbs.
Sean started all five matches for the New England Free Jacks during the COVID-19 shortened MLR season. For most of the Free Jacks 2018-2019 exhibition season, Sean was recovering from an injury. When healthy, he was loaned to Rugby United New York and played 159 minutes in four matches with two starts, before returning to the Free Jacks to start against Lansdowne FC from Dublin.
Sean was born in London to Irish parents and moved to Rye, New York when he was one. He regards Dublin, Ireland as his hometown.
He moved to Bahrain when he was 10 in 2006 and began playing rugby at Bahrain RFC. He went to boarding school at Rockwell College from 2007-2013 and played rugby with the first team from 2011-2013. The team won the Munster Schools Senior Cup and he represented Munster on age-grade teams and for Ireland Schoolboys.
Sean then moved back to Dublin and attended University College Dublin from 2014-2016, earning a Diploma in Business and Sports Management. He represented Ireland at Under-19s and U19 Sevens, as well as Ireland Under-20s for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. He enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Hertfordshire in Business and Sports Management in 2017.
Sean played Leinster Academy from 2015-2018, playing mainly in the British and Irish Cup with Leinster ‘A’ and made five senior appearances in Pre-Season games.
In 2020, he was a key contributor for the Free jacks.
The LA Giltinis also signed his older brother Harry, who has played for the Ireland 7s team. The only previous time they played together was at University College Dublin.
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.”
Sean McNulty is eligible for the USA Eagles based on the 10-year residency rule and would have been in San Diego in November as part of his first wider training squad camp but for a COVID-19 cancellation.
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.
“Sean has come from a different route, through the Leinster Academy in Ireland, and the MLR to put himself on the radar with the Eagles. He’s mobile with off-loading skills and will benefit from the expertise of (scrum coach) Alex Corbisiero.”
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.