The Rugby New York Ironworkers signed Monate Akuei Gai for the remainder of the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old back-row is 6’4″ and 210 lbs.
Monate was born in South Sudan but moved to Kenya at a young age as a refugee. He attended Kirobon High School in his hometown of Nakuru, Kenya. He began playing rugby with Nakuru Topfry Rugby Football Club with the Under-13s and progressed to the first side where he played three years of rugby XVs and rugby sevens.
He also played for Kenya’s Chipu Under-20s for the Barthes Cup in three matches, Kenya 7s side Shujaa, earning two caps, and Kenya 15s side Simbas in the Elgon Cup, and has earned six caps in his three years with the team.
Monate moved to the United States in 2020 and has played with Old Blue in New York since 2021 in the American Rugby Premiership. He also was the team’s captain at the USA Club Sevens Nationals in 2022 where the team finished in second place. In both 2021 and 2022, he played for the Tsunami Barbarians in the Rugbytown Sevens, with the team finishing in fourth place in 2022. He also played for the Hartford Harpooners in four tournaments.
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