RWU HQ – Does the name Thretton Palamo ring any bells? Well, it should!
In 2007, eight days before his 19th birthday, Palamo became the youngest rugger to ever play in a Rugby World Cup match. Interesting enough… Palamo only began playing rugby a few years early when he joined his brothers on the San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club team at the age of 16. The 25-year-old rugger only made one more appearance on the Eagles 15s team in a tour match against Japan in November of 2008.
After his short time on the Eagles 15s, Palamo made a switch the sevens where he served as the team’s captain in the 2009 World Games.
Palamo enrolled at the University of Utah in the fall of 2009 where he played an important role in the Srummin’ Utes title run in the inaugural USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship. However, being a successful running back and defensive end in high school, Palamo wanted to give football a go at the collegiate level. In 2011, Palamo joined the Utes as a running back.
After switching to defensive end, Palamo found a role on special teams for the his first two seasons on the team. In his first two seasons on the team, Palamo registered 11 tackles and one forced fumble.
The California native really found his groove in his senior season for the Utes, playing in all 12 games as a backup defensive end. The scholarship athlete registered 13 tackles and a half sack in his senior season. However, Palamo felt like he was missing something in his life… And it was rugby.
“I realized toward the end of my football career I kept comparing everything to rugby, how this would be cooler if this was in a rugby setting,” Palamo told Deseret News. “So then I just decided I’d rather play rugby. It’s also been in my family for so long, so I don’t think I had a chance playing football.”
The former Utah defensive end is finally back on the pitch and thriving. In fact, yesterday, he was part of the USA Rugby Eagles ending their 9-game skid vs Canada, a 38-35 thriller that Jake Frechette has broken down. This is the link.