Rugby New York signed Pago Haini (Pagopagohokma Taeaomua Haini) for the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 30-year-old No.8/blindside flanker is 6’1″ and 245 lbs.
Pago played 14 matches, starting 5, and scored 3 tries for the LA Giltinis in 2021. His signing with Rugby New York for 2022 was not part of the Hanco Germishuys trade with LA.
He played for the New England Free Jacks during the team’s 2019 exhibition and was a key Cara Cup contributor. He re-signed for 2020 but did not play during the COVID-19 shortened season.
In 2018 he played 46 minutes in four matches as a reserve. for the Houston SaberCats.
Pago was born in American Samoa and grew up in Samoa (Western Samoan). He then attended St Joseph College, a well-known rugby school in Samoa before receiving a Rugby/Academic scholarship to attend Churchie, Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He then went to Wellington to attend Victoria University before migrating to the USA.
Pago played rugby for the Churchie 1st XV 2008-09, Samoan U19s 2010, Samoa High-Performance Unit in 2010, Wellington U20s 2011, trialed for Wellington Lions Train On Squad 2012, Wellington Samoan 2012-2016 (plays in the Hurricanes Development Sides Competition), and club rugby for Old Boys University Wellington 2011-2012, and Marist St. Pats RFC in the Wellington Rugby Union’s Swindale Shield and Jubilee Cup Premier from 2013-2016.
Pago debuted for the Eagles 7s at the Wellington Sevens in 2017 and played at the Sydney Sevens HSBC Sevens Series stop. In 2017 he played with the Santa Monica Rugby Club Dolphins and was a player-coach for their sevens team. He also played with the USA Islanders against the Saracens in Bermuda in August 2017.
Following playing with the Houston SaberCats and New England Free Jacks, Pago played with Marist St Pat’s in Wellington, New Zealand in 2020.
He also is a level 2 certified rugby coach and has spent time coaching with Santa Monica youth rugby.