|Date of birth||September 22, 1988|
|Place of birth||Woodland, California|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||255 lb (18 st 3 lb; 116 kg)|
|Notable relative(s)||Arona Palamo (father)|
|Rugby union career|
Thretton Palamo (born September 22, 1988) is an American rugby union player who plays centre for the Bristol Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. When he appeared in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he became the youngest ever player to have played in the Rugby World Cup, a record that was surpassed in 2015 by Vasil Lobzhanidze of Georgia.
Palamo was born in Woodland, California. Palamo is a graduate of Davis Senior High School in Davis, California. During his high school career he played both basketball, winning selection to the USA's U16 national team, and American football, leading his team in rushing yards and tackles during his senior year. He didn't officially start playing rugby until he was 16 when he joined the same club as his brothers, the San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club.
Within six months of joining SFGG, Palamo was called to represent Samoa at U19 level and also went on to play Sevens for Samoa, the country of his father's birth. However, as he approached 18 — the age deadline to commit to a specific national team — he decided to play for his own country of birth, the United States, saying this could create opportunities for other Samoan players.
University of Utah
With a recommendation from USA Rugby World Cup team-mate and Utah's head rugby coach Blake Burdette, Palamo went to Utah and played rugby union and American football for the Utes. He spent his freshman year just playing rugby. In June 2010, he led the Scrummin' Utes to victory in the inaugural Collegiate Rugby Championship, scoring two tries in a 31–26 overtime win over the California Golden Bears. A desire to play American football and some help from Burdette, a former Utes tight end, saw Palamo join the Utes American football program in early 2011, taking part in spring scrimmages as a running back.
He played in France for Top 14 club Biarritz during the 2008-09 season and played alongside fellow Eagles international Takudzwa Ngwenya. Despite signing a three-year contract with Biarritz, he returned to the United States at the end of his first season to continue his studies.
Palamo returned to professional club rugby in 2014, signing a three-month trial contract with Saracens for the 2014-15 season. Palamo made his professional rugby debut playing 55 minutes for Saracens in a win over Ospreys in LV= Cup. After making three appearances for Saracens, Palamo joined London Welsh on a year long loan for the 2015-16 RFU Championship season. However, on 31 December 2015, Palamo left London Welsh by early release to fully return to the United States Sevens set-up.
Palamo was called into the United States squad to participate at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He played his only match of the tournament in the 15-64 loss to South Africa on 30 September 2007. The appearance was just eight days after his 19th birthday and made him the youngest player in Rugby World Cup history, lowering the record of Federico Méndez of Argentina, who was 19 years and 63 days when he appeared at the 1991 Rugby World Cup. As noted earlier, that record was surpassed in 2015 by Lobzhanidze, who played for Georgia against Tonga less than a month before his 19th birthday.
Palamo made his only other full test appearance for the Eagles in a tour match against Japan in Tokyo on 22 November 2008 before going on to captain the USA's Sevens team at the 2009 World Games in Chinese Taipei.
Palamo's father, Arona Palamo, played international rugby union at centre and flyhalf for Samoa between 1979 and 1982 before moving to San Francisco to take up an academic scholarship at UC Davis. Palamo has one sister and two older brothers, Toshi and Seta, who have both played Sevens for the USA. His father introduced him to rugby union and he was influenced to play the sport after watching his brothers play.
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