Tongan dual International Pakisonasi Afu joins the Warriors


SALT LAKE CITY (22 February 2018) – Major League Rugby today announced the assignment of Paki Sonasi Afu to the Utah Warriors from Austin Elite Rugby for the 2018 Major League Rugby (MLR) season.

Afu, a former Sydney Rooster’s National Rugby League standout and Mate Ma'a Tonga representative, has switched codes to Rugby Union and made a recent debut with Tonga A in 2017. The 6’3” and 250 lb utility back will bring professionalism and experience to the MLR.

As part of the player re-allocation, Austin Elite Rugby have been granted undisclosed accommodations from Major League Rugby that come to them via the Utah Warriors.

“We wish Paki all the best as he continues with his MLR journey” commented Alain Hyardet, Austin Elite Rugby Head Coach.

“Major League Rugby is committed to the best interest of players and teams, and this re-assignment fairly positions both Austin and Utah to put forward the most competitive teams possible for the upcoming season,” commented Nic Benson, Deputy Commissioner Major League Rugby.

Utah Warriors CEO and GM echoed Benson’s sentiment.

“We’re excited to welcome such a dynamic player like Paki to the Warriors family,” Kjar said, “He’ll easily add some power to our backline and we’re looking forward to seeing him in the Black and Red.”


About The Utah Warriors

The Utah Warriors are the first Professional Rugby team based in Utah. Participating in Major League Rugby’s inaugural season, the Warriors aim to bring Elite-level Rugby to the state and represent the Warrior mentality that is within each of us. We stand strong, we stand as one. For more information, reach out to, follow us on social at @warriorsrugbyofficial or visit our website at

Facebook: @WarriorsRugbyUT

Twitter: @WarriorsRugbyUT

Instagram: @WarriorsRugbyOfficial





About Austin Elite Rugby

Austin Elite Rugby is a Professional Rugby team based in Austin Texas, and we are excited to bring Professional Rugby to Central Texas.

As a proud member of Major League Rugby, Austin Elite Rugby embodies the sport’s inclusive ethos. Developing players from youth to professional is at the heart of Austin Elite Rugby, creating a world-class experience for players and fans to enjoy the game.

Facebook: @austineliterugby

Twitter: @Austin_E_Rugby

Instagram: @austineliterugby

YouTube: Austin Elite Rugby


#wearerugby #austineliterugby #MLR2018



About Major League Rugby

MLR is a professional rugby league that will launch in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR will be the pinnacle of the American rugby, and provide a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes

Facebook: @usmlr

Twitter: @usmlr

Instagram: @usmlr