Moana Pasifika sign ex-Blues and Chiefs powerhouse Levi Aumua
Fresh after the announcement of ex-All Blacks loose forward Filo Tiatia as its new assistant coach, Moana Pasifika have confirmed the arrival of blockbusting midfielder Levi Aumua.
Aumua, who is of Samoan and Fijian heritage, was born in New Zealand but raised in Australia, and has played professional rugby in both countries.
However, it was in France where he began his playing career with Bordeaux Begles in 2015, but he returned to Australia the following year after making just two appearances in the European Challenge Cup.
After two seasons with Brisbane City in Australia’s now-defunct NRC, Aumua relocated back to New Zealand to join Tasman, where he impressed with his strong ball-running ability.
On that basis, Aumua was handed his first Super Rugby contract with the Chiefs in 2018, but failed to take to the field for the Hamilton-based franchise, and instead shifted north to the Blues for the 2019 campaign.
Playing alongside All Blacks stars Ma’a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield, Aumua played four times for the Blues before returning to Tasman to play a key role in guiding them to their first-ever NPC title two years ago.
Without a Super Rugby deal last year, Aumua headed to Japan to join the Hino Red Dolphins in the Top League, but had his season cut short due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
He stayed in Japan for this year’s domestic campaign, but switched teams, signing for Toyota Shuttles Industries in the second-tier Top Challenge League.
A move back to New Zealand has seen him rejoin Tasman in the NPC, where Mako currently sit in sixth place on the Premiership table.
Eligible to play for the All Blacks, Wallabies, Flying Fijians and Manu Samoa, Aumua will compete for a starting role in Moana Pasifika’s midfield with the likes of ex-Hurricanes starlet Danny Toala, former Western Force second-five Henry Taefu and ‘Ikale Tahi rookie Fine Inisi.
Confirmed Moana Pasifika signings for 2022 Super Rugby Pacific
Props: Sekope Kepu (Counties Manukau), Tau Koloamatangi (Otago), Ezekiel Lindenmuth (Counties Manukau), Isi Tu’ungafasi (Crusaders)
Hookers: Ray Niuia (Blues), Luteru Tolai (Blues)
Locks: Don Lolo (Taieri), Mike McKee (Southland), Alex McRobbie (Counties Manukau), Veikoso Poloniati (Manawatu)
Loose Forwards: Solomone Funaki (Hawke’s Bay), Lotu Inisi (North Harbour), Jack Lam (Waikato), Alamanda Motuga (Counties Manukau), Sam Slade (Counties Manukau), Henry Time-Stowers (Canterbury), Sione Tu’ipulotu (Auckland)
Halfbacks: Ereatara Enari (Crusaders)
First-Fives: Christian Leali’ifano (NTT Communications Shining Arcs), Lincoln McClutchie (Hawke’s Bay)
Outside Backs: Tomasi Alosio (Wellington), Neria Foma’i (Hawke’s Bay), Solomone Kata (Brumbies), Timoci Tavatavanawai (Tasman), Lolagi Visinia (Hurricanes)
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