Nic Johnson was named Glendale’s Player of the Week this week.
The USA loose forward started playing rugby in his senior year of college, where he had been playing basketball for Linfield College in Oregon.
It was a pleasant surprise for his uncle, Fred Paoli. The former USA captain set Johnson up to hone his rugby skills playing for Northland in New Zealand –the home club of the famous Going rugby family.
Johnson spent two seasons there, learning much the first year and using what he learned the second, ending a championship season with an MVP performance.
Profiles on RUGBYMag.com’s predecessor, erugbynews, Johnson was recruited by several US clubs, and was very close to making the USA team through 2007 and 2008. In 2009 he made his debut, against Ireland, and now has nine caps. He captained the USA Selects in the ARC and the Eagles against Saracens.
He returned to the USA after spending a season playing for L’Aquila in Italy. A passionate and very physical player, and has made a huge impact on an already strong Glendale team.