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Mayo duo meet in American rugby game

Sport

REUNITED Pat O’Toole (left) and Jamie Dever are pictured during their Connacht Eagles days.


Oisín McGovern

FORMER Westport RFC team-mates Jamie Dever and Pat O’Toole lined out on opposite sides when American professional rugby teams, Old Glory DC and New Orleans Gold, locked horns last weekend.
Having both soldiered with both Westport and Connacht in the past, the duo’s career paths saw them reunited in New Orleans.
Dever lined out at loosehead prop for Washington’s ‘Old Glory’ while O’Toole was a replacement prop for New Orleans in what was the first game of the season in Major League Rugby’s ‘East Conference’.
The match, which was observed by approximately 1,000 spectators in New Orleans’ ‘Shine on Airline’ stadium (in line with public health guidelines) finished in a draw, 26-26.
After the fixture was moved forward a few days due to a positive Covid test in the Old Glory camp, an entertaining, attacking game of rugby was played by both sides. A late converted try by the home side secured them a bonus point.
Jamie Dever, who made five appearances for Connacht in 2014/2015, made his debut in the USA in 2017 when he moved from Cambridge to Texas side, the Houston Sabre Cats, where he spent two seasons.
Last year the 25-year-old made the move to the capital when he signed for Old Glory DC in September, where he has since become a mainstay of their front row.
Old Glory DC are owned by Irish men Paul Sheehy and Chris Dunlavey and include President Joe Biden among their supporters.
Pat O’Toole, who is also 25, began lining out for Westport RFC at the age of six.
He also played soccer and Gaelic football during his youth.
The Louisburgh native played all across the forwards before specialising as a hooker at Under-18 level. He joining Connacht’s academy in 2014 before representing Ireland at Under-19 level.
After the former Sancta Maria College and NUIG student did stints at Glasgow Warriors, Garryowen, San Diego Legion and Ohio Aviators, he signed with New Orleans from Houston Sabre Cats early this year.
O’Toole, who qualifies to play for the USA’s national team through his family, was selected to play for the USA Rugby Selects in the 2018 Americas Pacific Challenge against Tonga A, Uruguay A, and Argentina XV.

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