Former BYU, Chicago Bears Player Paul Lasike Looks To MLR Challenge

They're both physical team sports, but Paul Lasike is jumping between rugby and football an awful lot.

The New Zealand-born rugby center was a star for BYU before shifting to the Cougars’ football team. He played both sports for a time before football won out, and Lasike followed his college career with a stint as a fullback with the Chicago Bears.

Now, Lasike is back with the sport of his youth, having signed with Major League Rugby’s Utah Warriors. Having played for one of the best college rugby programs in the country and then in an elite professional football environment, Lasike might well be seen as a leader, although the idea makes the big man laugh.

“Oh man, my initial reaction is ‘I hope not,’ but really having had the experience with BYU and with the Bears, I’ll do my best to lead however they want me to,” Lasike told FloRugby. “The guys who have already signed [with the Warriors] are saying that we’ve got to lead from the front. We’ve got to establish a good culture from the start. That’s one of the biggest things we’ve got to do.”

Lasike said that despite being away from rugby for four years, he has learned a lot from football.

“That experience was awesome,” he said. “Just being around that atmosphere. I haven’t played rugby in four years, but it’s not like I’ve been at a desk or working in a factory somewhere. I’ve been in that atmosphere, and having been around a team like the Bears has been really good for me.”

Lasike said the stress and pressure of having to perform every day in the NFL was an education in and of itself and might make it easier for his transition back to rugby — which he calls his “first language.”

“I think being in that pressure-cooker will be a huge positive for me in rugby,” he said. “The things that I learned in Chicago, especially the meetings and the film breakdowns and all of the nuances I had to learn in football, I can bring to rugby.”

Lasike said he’s excited to play, but he is also looking forward to seeing the massive talent pool of rugby players coming out of Utah.

“We had a combine and we had over 100 players there,” he said. “I think for guys in Utah it’s something that we’ve all been waiting for. There’s a lot of good rugby out here, and everyone’s been waiting for this next step.”

Jesuit Wins Nailbiter Single-School Championship

Kelecki Latu Helps Save A Title

The Jesuit of Sacramento Marauders won their ninth High School National Championship in dramatic fashion as they edged Herriman Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Back Bay Rules In HS Club Championships


Back Bay put in an impressive performance in defeating Royal Irish to win the 2019 HS Club championship.

All Deadlocked In Single-School

We won’t know the match for the single-school HS National Championships because lightning has delayed one of the semifinals, but we do know the other finalist.

Brilliant Back Bay, Gutsy Royal Irish In HS Club

Brutally clinical play saw Back Bay and Royal Irish through to the Boys HS Rugby National Championships club final.

HS Single-School SF Halted By Lightning

Play has been suspended at the Boys HS Rugby National Championships due to lightning.

HS Nationals Schedule Changes

A wet field caused Regional Athletic Center officers in Salt Lake City to halt Field 2 action at the Boys HS Rugby National Championships.

Day Two Boys HS Nationals LIVE

Charlotte Tigers Open Nationals With A Win

It's Day Two if the Boys HS Rugby National Championships.

A Dramatic Day One At HS Nationals

Day One of the 2019 Boys HS Rugby National Championships had just about everything, but especially dramatic finishes and tight games.

Throwback Thursday: Japan's World Cup Moment


Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloRugby!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

This moment for the Cherry Blossoms ignited World Rugby's selection for Japan to host the 2020 World Cup. We're now just a few months away! Can Japan knock off another World Cup giant in Pool A? Which underdog country will have its moment in 2019?

Doylestown Dragons Breathing Fire

One of the hottest teams heading into this weekend’s national club quarterfinals, the Doylestown Dragons shouldn’t fly under anyone’s radar in Spartanburg, SC for their last eight showdown with Buffalo.