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Gustard hails 'game changing' Lasike signing as 113kg former NFL player joins Quins

By Online Editors
Paul Lasike of Harlequins poses for portraits at Twickenham Stoop on August 1, 2018 in London, England. US Eagle international Lasike joins Harlequins from Utah Warriors and previously played in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.

Harlequins have confirmed the signing of former NFL player Paul Lasike, a move revealed by RugbyPass on Tuesday.


The New Zealand-born 28-year-old, who has been capped six times for the USA Eagles, joins Quins from Utah Warriors where he was been captain since the start of the year.

Lasike made a huge impression on the international scene in June when USA beat Scotland 30-29 in Texas. His powerful defence was a major factor in his country’s first victory over a major international rugby nation.

He first travelled to the US from Auckland on a rugby scholarship at Brigham Young University in Utah but he was soon approached to play for the American Football side there. His success with them led to signing contracts with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL and later Chicago Bears, where he played as fullback.

Lasike, who spent three years in the NFL before returning to rugby with Utah Warriors, told Quins TV: “Playing rugby in the US and representing them at international level has been an awesome experience. But it was an honour to be asked to join such a prestigious club as Harlequins and I am delighted to be joining the Club.

“I did my own research about the Club and I asked a couple of my friends on the US team about the Harlequins and they said, ‘Grab the bull by both horns and take it!’ So I did. It is an exciting, awesome opportunity and now we have the next month to get prepared for the start of the season. I can’t wait.”


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Paul Gustard, Harlequins’ Head of Rugby said: “I am delighted Paul is joining us for the start of a new era at Harlequins. He is a player who has enormous game-changing potential and I am very excited and pleased that Paul and his young family have made the decision to come to be part of our journey.

“He adds something different to a talented group of centres that we have at the club. I am sure the fans will enjoy his approach to the game and give him and his family the warm welcome that they are famous for.

“I am thankful for the cooperation of the MLR and Utah Warriors for allowing Paul the opportunity to develop his game, challenge himself and give Paul and his family new experiences to enjoy.”


Utah Warriors Head Coach Alf Daniels said Quins’ latest signing showed the strength of Major League Rugby in the US. “Paul signing with the Quins just shows that the MLR has talent,” he said. “There is talent in America and the MLR is the best path forward to develop that talent. We’re excited for Paul, but look forward to the next man up to step into his shoes for the Warriors.”

Utah Warriors General Manager Kimball Kjar added: “A year ago people wouldn’t have thought professional rugby in America was feasible. Now, with players like Paul and others leading the way, we can see that not only is the MLR viable and real, but 10 or 15 years from now, we believe the MLR can become one of the world’s top professional rugby competitions.”

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