Nakai Penny Signs With Seawolves: Okanagan, UBC, North Island, BC, Westshore
Nakai becomes the 10th BC Premier player to sign with the Seawolves, 7 of them Canadian. Nakai played youth rugby in the Okanagan then went to UBC. He became a favourite of forwards coach Curry Hitchborn who thought he should be in the running for a Canada spot at flanker. That hasn't materialized yet as national coaches selected others ahead of him. Curry is probably one of the best talent identifiers in Canada and along with Tony Healy will have a better grasp of who the top national prospects are.
Nakai played for the North Island Tsunami in the first round of last year's McKechnie Cup. They were knocked out so he was picked up by Rick Bourne's Mainland side coached by Curry. They defeated the South Island in the final to win the McKechnie Cup. From there Nakai was picked up by BC Bears and they went on to win the Canadian Rugby Championship. He played the fall portion of the BC Premier league with Westshore.
Nakai is a physical specimen and when his rugby smarts and reading of the game matures he should become a national team regular. Playing in the MLR will speed up that development. from Seattle Seawolves
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seawolves have announced the signing of former University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbird, Nakai Penny.
“Though many in the North American scene have yet to discover Nakai, I am confident that the narrative will change soon thanks to his aggressive tackling and enormous work rate,” said Seawolves head coach Tony Healy on Penny’s style of play. “In Nakai, the Seawolves are fortunate to have added yet another warrior to our exciting team.”
Born in Penticton, British Columbia (B.C), Penny played all 4 seasons of his high school rugby career with the Pen High Lakers before taking his talents to the UBC Thunderbirds in 2014. Alongside future Seawolves teammate Brock Staller, Penny and the Thunderbirds placed 3rd at the 2015 World University Rugby Cup and won the B.C Premier League for 3 consecutive years from 2015 to 2017. While at UBC, he won the 2015 Canadian Rugby Championship with the B.C U19 men and gained international experience when he was selected to Canada’s U20 squad in 2016. This past summer, he played at flanker with the BC Bears and won the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championship alongside fellow Seawolves Phil Mack, George Barton, and Brock Staller.
“It’s an honor to have signed with the Seattle Seawolves,” said Penny. “I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow teammates, achieving greatness as a team, and as an individual.”
About the Seawolves
The Seawolves are proud to be Seattle's Major League Rugby franchise. With an ownership group led by Seattle-based entrepreneurs Adrian Balfour and Shane Skinner, the club was formed in 2017 and is a founding member of Major League Rugby. Select MLR games will be televised on the CBS Sports Network, as part of an exclusive, multi-year television partnership between Major League Rugby and the television network. The inaugural season kicks off Spring 2018, with all Seawolves home games being played at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington. Season tickets are now on sale. Reserve your seats here.
The Seawolves organization strives to develop, cultivate and expand the sport of rugby in the US while empowering discipline, duty, respect and a spirit of inclusion both on and off the pitch. The Seattle Seawolves aim to foster a winning culture by enabling its members to meet their true potential while pursuing excellence within the Major League Rugby competition. Community outreach is a key tenet of the Seawolves philosophy, and our organization strives to continually help to enrich and give back to the greater Seattle and Pacific Northwest areas.