Pate Tuilevuka Named Director of Rugby, Seawolves Academy and Pacific Northwest Rugby Development Priority Number One

15-Apr-2021

Tukwila, Washington (April 15, 2021) – The Seattle Seawolves are excited to announce the hiring of former USA Eagle and Connacht Back, Alipate ‘Pate’ Tuilevuka, as the Club’s Director of Rugby. Tuilevuka has an extensive playing resume paired with a strong coaching background that will continue to support and build the rugby aspects of the Seattle Seawolves both in the short and long term.

“Pate has deep passion, knowledge, and experience in the game of rugby. His global rugby contacts, relationships with the PNW rugby community, and desire to grow the sport in the US while developing a deep pipeline of American players aspiring to play rugby at the highest levels makes him the perfect fit to lead Seawolves Rugby Operations,” said Seawolves president Brian Jones. “The Seawolves are thrilled to welcome Pate into this new role and appreciate his leadership as the Seawolves Rugby Club continues to evolve and improve.”

Originally from Suva, Fiji Tuilevuka grew up around and played the game of rugby like many do from the island. After moving to Utah, he attended Brigham Young University and played for rugby for the Cougars at the fly half position. Impressing on the collegiate stage, he quickly earned All-American honors and after graduating, headed to Ireland to play abroad with Galwegians RFC. He eventually progressed from there into the Connacht’s professional scene. The American eligible back debuted for the USA in 2006 against Ireland and had 17 appearances for the USA Eagles through 2010 along with appearances for the USA Falcons in the NA4 series. Tuilevuka returned to the States to play a season with the Provo Steelers in 2009, followed by a move to Seattle in 2010 to suit up with Old Puget Sound Beach in the Super League competition. The talented backline player played for OPSB in two Super League finals, captaining the side after a win over SFGG earned them West Coast championship bragging rights. Tuilevuka has been in Seattle ever since, playing for the respective Seattle club sides as they transitioned from Seattle-OPSB to Seattle Saracens to Seattle Rugby Club over the years, in both 15s and 7s.

His coaching career began with Atavus Rugby, formally known as Serevi Rugby, with the USA Rugby Academy, consulting with the Bermuda National Team, taking the Seattle Elite City 7s team to the World Clubs 7s in London at Twickenham as the assistant coach and manager. He was also a key coach of the HSBC Youth Program that activated youth camps across the world, including Brazil, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, New York, and other global stops. After a career change, but never far away from the rugby community, Tuilevuka returned to the game, supporting the Seattle Seawolves since 2019, where he was a skills coach for the championship winning side under head coach Richie Walker. He continued to develop as a coach, taking on the Washington Athletic Club 7s Women’s Head Coach and in the fall, named Head Coach and Men’s Director of Rugby for Seattle Rugby Club. Tuilevuka had the Seattle Orcas off to a roaring start in both the Premier and Division I men’s sides in the British Columbia Rugby Union in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to the global pandemic. Ready and eager to grow the game in the region he has called home for over 11 years, Tuilevuka brings the player and coaching experience to help drive the development of the Seawolves Academy and other rugby initiatives through Seattle’s Major League Rugby team.

“Since 2011, Pate has contributed to the development of rugby through the US as a player, coach and administrator,” said board of directors’ member Chris Prentice. “As a former Pro and European Cup Player, he knows and understands the commitment required to be successful as a rugby athlete. Pate’s background as a national championship winning coach of Seattle Rugby Club men’s teams and success with the Washington Athletic Club women’s sevens program will be important to our inclusive academy expansion, which will equally focus on the development of both men’s and women’s programs from youth to elite in the Northwest. We are thrilled to welcome Pate back!”

“It’s a privilege to take on this new role for the Seawolves,’ said Tuilevuka. “Ensuring that the team is performing, a positive, winning culture continues to­ be established, and the players are happy, will all be top priorities. On the Academy side, the talent and opportunity for growth of the game in the Pacific Northwest is limitless and I look forward to working with regional organizations to help the sport take its next big step.”

A formal announcement around the expansion of the Seawolves Academy and pathway plan will be announced at a later date.