Austin Gilgronis Signs Paddy Ryan

Austin Gilgronis signed Paddy Ryan for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 29-years-old tighthead prop (30 in another week) is 6’2″ and 275 lbs.

Paddy started four matches for Rugby United New York during the COVID-19 shortened season. A minor leg injury kept him out of action during week two in Las Vegas.

During the 2019 MLR season, Rooster 4 played 750 minutes in 13 matches and scored 3 tries. He had 91 carries for 384 meters, had 1 tackle break, and made 88 tackles.

Following the 2019 season, he attended the USA National Team2019 Rugby World Cup Training Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

During the 2018 MLR season, he played 149 minutes, starting in three matches for Austin Elite

Patrick is from Cork and Chicago and his brothers Timmy and Dave both played (play) professional rugby.

Paddy was eligible for the USA team, as his mother is from the United States. A good tighthead prop is not one to pass up, so Paddy was selected to the Eagles and played as a reserve against Ireland on June 10, 2017, as a reserve. He then started against Canada in Hamilton on June 24, 2017.

Paddy was selected for the USA Rugby Selects for the 2017 Americas Pacific Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay, however, was the trial with Bath United precluded his attending.

Paddy returned to the Eagles for the November 2017 tour to play Germany and Georgia on November 18 at Brita Arena in Wiesbaden, Germany, and on November 25 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Interim Head Coach Dave Hewitt provided the leadership for the Eagles, while new Eagles Head Coach Gary Gold, attended to Worcester Warrior’s responsibilities.

The last of his 7 caps was against Japan in Suva, Fiji on August 10, 2019.

Paddy Ryan and European Rugby

Paddy began to play rugby with Highfield RFC in Cork and progressed through the youth system. He represented the team in the All-Ireland Under 18s Championship in 2009 and also played in the under-20s.

He joined his brother Dave at the Munster Academy from 2009-2010 and in 2011 played for Rugby Viadana in the Italiana Rugby d’Eccellenza. The following year, he helped the London Welsh win the RFU Championship. For the 2014-2015 seasons, he played for Libournais, a France Federale 1 team. He then signed a two-year contract with the Aviva Premiership Newcastle Falcons in 2015.

In 2017 Paddy had a trial with Bath Rugby and currently is back with the Highfield RFC, where he began his rugby journey.

Ryan made his first appearance for the US National Team in June of 2017 when he came on as a replacement against Ireland, a nation he knows very well. He went on to make his first start 2 weeks later, in a World Cup 2019 qualifying match against Canada. He has7 caps was in the USA player pool for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Comments on his 2018 MLR Signing

Comments were made by former USARugby Head Coach John Mitchell. Paddy played for Austin Elite in 2018 and after two years with Rugby United New York returns to Austin for the 2021 season.

John Mitchell, former USA Rugby Head Coach

“We only got one assembly with him due to his late arrival and that was in June 2017. He has huge potential even though he did not meet our standards at that time. He seems to have a very good character and fitted into the group well.”

Austin Gilgronis Comments

Austin Gilgronis is delighted to announce the signing of USA Eagle #514, Paddy Ryan. Ryan is regarded as one of the best scrummagers in the United States and a hard-nosed, no-nonsense enforcer in the league. 

Paddy Ryan is thrilled today to make his return to Austin after two seasons with Rugby United New York. Ryan was a founding player on the original Austin Elite squad in 2018 and left for the expansion club, RUNY, which he helped to an MLR semifinal in 2019 (the club’s first year.) Ryan brings a unique perspective to the AGs; a very different looking Austin club than the one he left three years ago. “I definitely think we’ll make the playoffs and we’ll be making a push for the shield come May,” says Ryan. “There’s a lot of new faces and a shortened pre-season so that’s a challenge, but the coaches and owner want us to gel quickly and they’ve got some good ideas and we’ve got a very very good facility which will help a lot.”

The 29-year-old Irish-American prop is a scrum savant, ferocious in the tackle, and a savage at the breakdown. Ryan brings a wealth of professional rugby experience to the AGs and looks forward to bringing some additional toughness to the Austin front row. 

“However we win, that will show who we are,” says Ryan. “Whether we’re ruthless and mean or flashy and fast; it will show through when we win – I know what style I like, but this game is all about adapting, ya know?”

Paddy Ryan remains in the USA Eagles player pool. He hopes to make another case for the red, white, and blue jersey in 2021. The AG’s new head coach Sam Harris has today secured one of the deepest and most talented prop rotations in the league.

“We want a dominant, intimidating, Texas-sized front row,” says Harris. “That’s what we’ve built here this off-season, Paddy is widely regarded as the best domestic scrummaging tighthead in America and he adds just the kind of mean muscle we need.”

Harris explained that tighthead is the position a squad is to be built around and having Mason Pedersen and Paddy Ryan at #3 should give the team a lot of confidence. “Paddy also gives our pack that bit of bully you need, he has built a reputation as an enforcer,” says Harris. “I want him to grow that within the group; we won’t be taking a backward step to anybody.”

AG Tighthead Props: Paddy Ryan & Mason Pedersen

AG Loosehead Props: Jamie Mackintosh & LaRome White

“It’s always a challenge to compete for a spot and it’s also great to know that there are capable props behind you so you don’t have to play 80 minutes week in and week out, you can play 50 or play 30 and make an impact that way,” says Paddy Ryan. “It’s enjoyable to get competitive with the boys, it makes the daily grind more fun.”

Ryan arrived in Austin this summer and has worked alongside a handful of the AG newcomers in socially-distant fitness sessions. He also joined the Austin Huns coaching staff for a few training sessions this summer to lend some set-piece advice to the local blueblood club’s forward pack. 

“It’s good to be back in Austin, Austin’s always been good to me and there’s a really strong rugby culture,” says Ryan. “I’ve already linked up with a few of the old mates and yea Austin is always a great party.”

The prop was invited to the World 10s competition in October to play in Bermuda for the Ohio Aviators alongside AG’s Will Magie and Bryce Campbell. In Bermuda, Ryan suffered an unfortunate lower-leg injury that he’ll work to rehab ahead of the 2021 season.


“It would be awesome to win it all, it would be huge, especially for a team that’s had such a bad record two seasons ago – to come together and win it all would be huge, it really would,” says Paddy Ryan.

Welcome to the AGs, Paddy Ryan!

Other Articles

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

About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant