Utah Warriors re-signed Joe Mano for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old wing/fullback is 5’11” and 200 lbs.
Mano played the final seven games for the Warriors in 2022, scoring seven tries and 35 total points after an ACL injury cut short his 2021 season and impacted his early 2022 season.
Joe played 349 minutes in 7 matches, starting 4, and scored one try during his first MLR season with the Utah Warriors. He also played with the Warriors Selects in the Fall of 2020.
Joe was born in Hawaii but grew up in Lauli’i, Pago Pago, American Samoa. He attended Fa’asaō Marist High School, playing football, soccer, rugby, and volleyball throughout high school.
Joe began playing rugby in American Samoa in 2008, participating at our local tournaments Laulii MoliOleAva. The team was invited to play for Coral Coast 7’s in Sigatoka Fiji.
In 2013 he moved to Alaska and played for Alaska Green Dragons until 2017 when was invited by Coach Mere Baker to play for Tulsa RFC.
In 2018 he played at the Las Vegas Invitational with Stars Rugby Sevens. He then flew back to Alaska before moving to Utah in July 2018 and joining the Salt Lake City Gladiators with a goal to play for the Utah Warriors.
In 2019, he was invited to play for Old Toe at the Cape Fear 7s from Jacko AhHoy, a former Manu Samoa player. Later that summer, he played for SoCal Griffins in Rugbytown 7s, which was coached by Peter Sio, a former USA Eagles, and Rhino Rashidian. This led to an invitation to play for Talavalu (American Samoa 7s) by coach Tommy Elisara at the Oceania 7s in Suva Fiji, where he competed against some HSBC Core Teams. He also has played for Stars Rugby 7s.
Following the trip to Fiji, he was contacted by the Utah Warriors to play this past Fall with the Warriors Selects, coached by Brandon Sparks, Seans Davies, Shawn Pittman, and Vaha. Following the season, he was one of seven players named to the Utah Warriors’ extended training squad. His performance at both earned him a spot on the Warriors 2021 MLR squad.
Joe indicated that “I’ve been coached by so many experienced and good coaches/leaders and players. They have helped me a lot and made me the player I am today. I thank God for every new opportunity that this day will bring.”
Joe’s contributions to this article were extensive. He is another talented player to move through the Utah Warriors pathway.