USA Eagle center Thretton Palamo has signed up for another year with club, his fourth. The 34-year-old has had a long and successful career, debuting for the Eagles as a teenager in the 2007 World Cup, the youngest player ever to do so at the time. He then played a season in the Top 14 in France before returning to the US to continue his studies. After winning a Collegiate Rugby Championship at the University of Utah, Palamo joined the Saracens in the English Premiership. He played for various Premiership teams for the next four years and briefly for the Dragons in the Pro 12, before returning to the US to join Old Glory.

Palamo has been an excellent player for Old Glory, at least when he's been fit. He started every match of the 2020 season, a co-captain and part of an electric backline that surprised a lot of people around the league. He captained the side again in 2021, playing in 11 matches, all but one of them a start, and scored four tries. However, towards the end of that season, we started to get a hint at the problems that would crop up later on. Palamo played 8 of the first 9 matches, but due to injury only managed the 3 of the last 7. This past season, he only managed to get on the pitch for a four match stretch in the middle of the season, spending the rest of the year out with chronic injuries.

Those four matches showed how good he can be, though. He provided something the team desperately needed at the time, which was a player to breach the gain line and distribute to the backs. He used two significant advantages in a combination to do this: his excellent passing and his sheer size. Palamo is a big guy, at 6'3" and 255lbs, and he used that to crash the line frequently. However, he also used it to keep his feet in contact and keep his hands free, allowing him to offload with his top notch passing. It's a combination that worked wonders to open up the field for the rest of the back line.

Unfortunately, Palamo's injuries seem to be a recurring problem, an ever-present threat in the background. It's clear from recent signings that the team is not assuming that he will remain healthy. With Fermin Martinez coming in and Willie Talataina returning, along with Junior Sa'u and Doug Fraser, Old Glory has plenty of options in case Palamo can't keep off the injury list.

Still, it's great to have him returning. He contributes a lot of experience and leadership to the team, and when he does make it on the pitch, he makes a big impact.


Curious who has been signed and who is leaving? Check out our 2023 Signings Tracker for all the updates!


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