NOLA Gold Rugby Club signed Billy Stewart to a two-year contract extension through the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old lock (27 in July) is 6’5″, 245 lbs, and has played for the club since 2018.
During the COVID-19 shortened MLR season, Billy played in all five matches, starting three. In 2019 he played 603 minutes in 12 games, starting six and scored one try. He carried the ball 70 times for 314 meters, made one linebreak, three tackle-breaks, and made 93 tackles.
Following the end of the 2019 season, he played for New Orleans RFC Sevens Team, which finished second in the Red River and just missed out on competing in the USA Club Sevens Nationals.
In 2018, Billy played 70 minutes for NOLA Gold in two matches.
Billy is from Warwick, Rhode Island, and attended Bishop Hendricken High School, a Catholic, all-male, college preparatory high school located in Warwick, Rhode Island. He played football, wrestled, and played rugby for the four years of high school.
He then attended Tulane University where he played rugby in the Deep South Rugby Conference, a Collegiate Division II conference. He helped the Green Wave win the 2014 Battleship Championship. He graduated in 2016 with a Bachelors’s Degree in Neuroscience.
Billy began playing with New Orleans RFC his Sophomore year at Tulane and has played with the team since then. He was a member of NOLA’s USA Rugby Club 7s Nationals in 2016 at prop. In 2018 he split time playing for New Orleans RFC and NOLA Gold Rugby Club.
Billy started the first three NOLA Gold 2019 preseason matches against the USA Rugby South Panthers on December 8, 2018, against Stars Rugby on Dec. 15, 2018, and against the Midwest Selects on January 5, 2019.
NOLA Gold Comments
Ryan Fitzgerald, General Manager, indicated that “Billy has shown tremendous improvement over the last two years. Billy has played with Tulane, New Orleans Men’s Club, and in 2018 leaped the MLR. He is an integral part of our 23 man roster week in and week out. We are very proud to have him here for years to come!”
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