Old Glory DC signed former Life University center Palema ‘Nikey’ Roberts for the 2022 Major league Rugby season. He was the team’s Round 2, Pick19, in the 2021 MLR Collegiate draft. The 23-year-old center (24 in March) is 5’11” and 210 lbs.
Palema is from Makakilo, Hawaii, and is a two-time D1A National Champion with Life University Rugby Club. The outside center is joining a club of over 18 Life University Alumni to cross over into the MLR.
Palema attended Fort Campbell High School in Kentucky and played football for the school before graduating in 2016. He played rugby for the Clarksville Highlanders Rugby Club and in his junior year in 2015, advanced to the Tennessee Rugby Association State Final against Harpeth High School after a semi-final win against McMinn County High School. Nikey scored a try in helping the team advance to the final
From 2016 to 2020 he attended Life University, graduating with a goal of being a web designer/developer, and date-base administrator. He was a two-time D1A National Champion.
He played for Atlanta Old White in the USA Rugby Club Sevens Nationals in 2021 and last weekend played in a 2022 preseason match against the Toronto Arrows at St James.