The Utah Warriors re-signed Joseph Backe for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. He was selected as the 9th pick in the 2021 MLR Collegiate draft. The 24-year-old hooker is 6’0″ and 245 lbs.
Joey played 20 minutes in 4 matches for the Utah Warriors in 2022. He also played with the Warriors Selects during the Fall.
Joey is from Naperville, Illinois, and attended Neuqua Valley High. School from 2013-2017. he played football on the offensive line and played rugby for four years, winning two state championships as captain. He was ranked in the top 100 loose forwards in the country at Neuqua Valley.
He then went to Western Michigan University in 2017 and graduated in 2021. He played for Coach Mark Allen at Western Michigan and was a four-year starter at No.8 for the Broncos. He finished his collegiate rugby career as a three-time All-Conference player, earning the honor in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
The Utah Warriors transitioned him as a hooker for the Warriors Selects this Fall and he gained some international experience in that position in the USA Select XV tour to Montevideo, Uruguay in October 2021 with the team facing Argentina XV, Chile A, and Brazil A.