Dallas Jackals Adds Ma’ake Muti and Nate Lyon to Development Team

Dallas Jackals Release

Jackals Development Players are key to building rugby domestically. Training full time with the Jackals and placement with local clubs to gain game experience, the Developmental Players will have the opportunity to improve to MLR level of play as part of our high performance pathway.

Ma’ake Muti

Ma’ake was born and raised in Tonga, commonly called “The Friendly Islands.” Although Ma’ake did not play rugby in a team setting until college, he played friendly games with friends in school. In 2008, Ma’ake moved to Hawaii where he attended Leilehua High School and was a three-sport athlete in football, wrestling, and track and field. 

After graduating high school, Ma’ake continued his education and football career at Azusa Pacific University in California. He was named GNAC Defensive Linemen of the Year in 2018, his senior year. 

Once football was over, Ma’ake joined the rugby club at Azusa Pacific. He commented, “first year playing there, we weren’t really good,” but the team worked hard and came back strong the next year. In 2019, Ma’ake helped the team win the NSCRO Challenge Cup in New York and was named the Impact Player. 

Ma’ake continued to add to his rugby resume and was selected for the Pacific Coast Grizzlies All-Star Competition team. He traveled to Houston, Texas with the Grizzlies where the team won the championship. 

Sports are a big part of Ma’ake’s family in which he is the oldest of five kids. His oldest brother, Netane Muti, also played football in college and is a guard for the Denver Broncos. 

Ma’ake said, “I am so excited to join the Jackals because I get to further develop my skills as a rugby player and play with awesome teammates from around the world.” Welcome to the pack Ma’ake!

Nate Lyon

Born and raised just outside of San Francisco, California, Nate started his rugby career during his freshman year of high school at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, California. He switched from soccer to rugby after realizing that his favorite part of the sport was the physical contact. He never looked back. 

While at Bellarmine College, Nate was elected captain of the varsity team for his senior year. He was also named to the Northern California All-Stars squad in 2016. 

After high school, Nate continued playing at Boston College, where he made the starting 15s squad freshman year. He went on to play all four years, primarily as fly half, on the 15s and 7s sides. 

During his time at Boston College, he competed in the 15s Varsity Cup his freshman year as well as leading his team to the Liberty Conference Championships his senior year. Competing with the 7s side during the Spring semesters, Nate represented Boston College in the Collegiate Rugby Championship each year. Along with the CRC, he participated in the Jesuit Cup and other regional tournaments. 

Nate says, “I started playing rugby because of the culture, but I grew to love the feeling of competing both physically and mentally for the full 80 minutes.” In fact, Nate influenced his younger brother to start playing and he now plays hooker for the Boston College Eagles.

“I’m excited to be a Jackal because of the opportunity to both continue my career, but more importantly, to contribute to the developing rugby culture in any way I can.”Nate continued, “I started as a 12 year old with no league to watch or local team to support, and I’m honored to be in a position to help the Jackals be that team for future generations.” 

Different from other Jackals Development Players, Nate will be placed with the D1 Austin Blacks in Austin, TX. “I’m honored and incredibly excited to join the Dallas squad, but I have a previous commitment to serve a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), a national volunteer program.” Through JVC, Nate will be working with The Arc of Texas, a non-profit that advocates for and protects the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “I’m excited to continue my development in Austin through the Jackals Development Program until I can fully join the Jackals in 2022,” said Nate. Welcome to the pack Nate!

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