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.”

Saint Mary's Defense Shuts Down Navy In Annapolis

Ronan Murphy: The Big Body On Saint Mary's

Saint Mary's put in an impressive defensive effort to defeat the US Naval Academy 20-7 Saturday in Annapolis.

Samurai PRP Player of The Week: Stephen Karas, Glendale Merlins

The Samurai PRP Player of The Week goes to Glendale Merlins prop Stephen Karas in a classic PRP shootout victory over Santa Monica.

BYU Edges CWU In Dramatic Thursday Night Clash

In a meeting of two highly-ranked D1A teams, the independent Central Washington Wildcats were edged out by the Rocky Mountain Conference champion BYU Cougars 24-17 Thursday night in Provo.

2019 Sorensen Award Nominees Named

The nominees for the MA Sorensen Award for the top women's college player in the country have been released.

Socino: Calcutta Cup Memories

The Six Nations finale surpassed everybody’s wildest dreams in terms of entertainment.

Two Top-Five Clashes Highlight D1A Weekend

New USA Callup Duncan Van Schalkwyk

Make sure you visit FloRugby at 1PM Central Time on March 31 to see a panel of four unveil the D1A Rugby playoff bracket, and there are plenty of seeding questions to be answered in the coming weeks.

Scholz Award Nominees Released

The nominees for the Rudy Scholz Award have been released.

Five Major Nations In Women's Super Series In San Diego

SAN DIEGO, CA. - USA Rugby will host the Women’s Rugby Super Series from June 28 to July 14, bringing together the world’s top five teams for a round-robin tournament spanning five competition dates in the greater San Diego area.

A New-Look D1 Elite Semis This Weekend

Lindenwood's Joyce Taufa Gets Eagle Nod

This weekend the top four women's D1 college teams playing 15s this spring face off in the D1 Elite semifinals: Why so early? Why just four of them? Why all alone? We'll tell you.

So Long Sunwolves

Japan's ground-breaking Sunwolves team are set to be axed from Super Rugby, a report said on Wednesday, as the governing body prepared to make an announcement about the competition's future.