Utah Warriors Paul Lasike 2023 Profile

The Utah Warriors re-signed Paul Lasike for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 31-year-old center is 5’11” and 250 lbs.

Paul returned to the Utah Warriors in 2022 after playing with the Harlequins of Premiership Rugby. He played 134 minutes in 4 matches,  starting once and scoring done try. He then played with the USA National Team in the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final Qualifier against Kenya, Hong Kong, and Portugal.

Paul grew up in Takapuna, New Zealand, and was one of ten children from an ethnic Tongan family. He began playing rugby when he was 8 years old and attended both Westlake Boys High School, as well as, the now-defunct Church College of New Zealand. There he played rugby, and volleyball in school, and representative youth rugby for Waikato Under 16s and Under 18s. In 2006 he was on the training squad for the New Zealand Under-17s.

After finishing school at the Church College of New Zealand, Lasike came to Highland and won a US High School National Championship in 2008 with Coach Larry Gelwix.

Paul received a rugby scholarship at Brigham Young University, attending from 2009-2014 where he earned All-American honors and help lead the Cougars to four National Championships. His time at BYU was split as he went on a two-year Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Alabama. Like many students at BYU, Paul married in 2012, to Ani Vieira Lasike, a native of Brazil, who moved to California with her family when she was a teenager.

When he returned to BYU, “his speed and hard running style also caught the attention of the Football team.” As a walk-on, he earned a scholarship to play running back for the Cougars and was named a team captain his senior year. He played 38 games, starting 19, and had 843 career rushing yards. In 2013 the team was ranked 10th Nationally, and in 2014 he was named to the College Sports Madness All_independent Third Team.

Paul graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education and taught at Pleasant Grove High School in 2016. In between, he signed as a free agent with the NFL Arizona Cardinals as a running back in 2015 and then the same year with the Chicago Bears, where he played two seasons as a fullback.

Paul joined the Major League Rugby Utah Warriors ahead of the 2018 season, and as the captain and cap #1, played 524 minutes, starting all seven matches and scoring one try.

In 2018 he made his debut for the USA Men’s National Rugby Team at the Americas Rugby Championship against Argentina XV and then earned his first cap as Eagle 524 against Chile at Fullerton, California on February 17. He played at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the last of his 22 tests was against Portugal in Dubai in November 2022.

After his impressive showing in 2018, Lasike signed with the Harlequins of Premiership Rugby in the United Kingdom. He made 29 appearances in four seasons with the 2021 Premiership Champions, scoring five tries. He not only played in English Premiership matches but in European Rugby Challenge Cup and Champions Cup matches, as well.

In 2022 he was loaned by the Harlequins to the London Scottish after he resumed playing after an injury.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant