Paul Lasike is coming back to Utah.
The former BYU star who briefly spent some time in the NFL before moving on to a pro rugby career signed with the Utah Warriors, the club announced Tuesday.
It will be his second stint with the Warriors, who compete in Major League Rugby, the United States’ first professional rugby league.
“I’m really happy to get back to where it all started,” Lasike said in a news release. “I played some of my high school and my collegiate rugby in Utah, and the Warriors was where I got my start in professional rugby.
“So, to come back home and play for them is awesome for me and my family. I’m excited to get started with the boys in Utah and hopefully do something special this season.”
Lasike, who hails from New Zealand, will join the Warriors in late March, following the conclusion of the Six Nations Tournament.
Lasike, a USA International, signed with the Harlequins of Premiership Rugby in the United Kingdom after playing the 2018 season with the Warriors. He played 29 games with the Harlequins, the 2021 Premiership champions, and scored five tries.
The 31-year-old recorded seven caps during his previous stint with the Warriors during the MLR’s inaugural season.
"I've always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to finish up here."— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) February 22, 2022
Paul Lasike is coming home. Hear from him and coaches why now is the right time for him to be back in Utah. #ForTheNation pic.twitter.com/lTLXs0ubVs
An Auckland native, Lasike originally came to Utah during high school years to play for Highland rugby. At BYU, he was a rugby All-American while doubling as a fullback for the Cougars’ football program.
He then spent part of two seasons in the NFL, with the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears.
“It is always special to bring someone like Paul home,” Warriors general manager Brandon Sparks said in a news release. “His contribution on the field of play is easy to see but where we will experience the biggest impact is his leadership and professionalism.
“He will complement our current leadership while also providing guidance to our younger players that have similar ambitions to what he has accomplished.”