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Irish quartet help the LA Giltinis to Major League Rugby title

Luke Carty, Sean McNulty, Sean O’Brien, and Harry McNulty all featured this season.

Sean McNulty, Sean O'Brien, Harry McNulty, and Luke Carty.
Sean McNulty, Sean O'Brien, Harry McNulty, and Luke Carty.
Image: Sean McNulty/Twitter

IRISH TRIO SEAN McNulty, Luke Carty, and Sean O’Brien all featured as the LA Giltinis claimed victory in the Major League Rugby [MLR] final in their first season in the North American competition.

The Giltinis beat Rugby ATL 31-17 in last night’s decider, with former Wallaby back Matt Giteau as influential as he has been all season.

McNulty, Carty, and O’Brien featured off the bench for Darren Coleman’s side at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Former Connacht academy out-half Carty recently made his debut for the US and then started against his native Ireland last month, having only moved to the States earlier this year.

23-year-old Carty, the younger brother of Connacht out-half Jack, qualifies for the Eagles through his New York-born grandmother.

Hooker McNulty is a former Leinster academy player who played for Ireland up to U20 level. The 26-year-old is also US-qualified having spent much of his youth living in the States. He first moved back over from Ireland to join the New England Free Jacks in 2019 before shifting to the Giltinis ahead of this season.

His older brother, Harry, was not involved in yesterday’s final having just arrived back in the US after competing in the Olympics with the Ireland 7s team, but played in the back row for the Giltinis this season.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old back row Sean O’Brien joined the LA side from the Leinster academy on a short-term contract in June. A native of the US, he played for the Ireland U20s last year and has been picking up match experience with the Giltinis in recent times. O’Brien made his senior Leinster debut earlier this year.

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The beaten Rugby ATL squad included Enniscorthy RFC and Kilkenny College product Ross Deacon, another native of the US, and former Leinster U19, St Michael’s College, and Lansdowne back Mark O’Keeffe.

Deacon scored a late try for the Atlanta side but it wasn’t enough to reel in the Giltinis, whose team also included Wallabies legend Adam Ashley-Cooper and Canadian wing DTH van der Merwe.

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