Tasman Mako nab Chiefs winger
The Tasman Mako have found their replacement for winger James Lowe, signing talented Chiefs outside back Solomon Alaimalo.
Alaimalo grew up in Christchurch attending St Bede’s College before playing club rugby with the Sydenham Bus Drivers. After three years, things weren’t progressing so Alaimalo made the move to Melbourne for a brief stint before moving back to take a chance in Northland club rugby.
Alaimalo’s form for the Otamatea Hawks earned a contract with Northland where he has been playing for the last two seasons, before a call up from Dave Rennie led to a Super Rugby debut with the Chiefs.
“I enjoyed my time with Northland and am very thankful for all they provided, but I’m excited to join the Mako next year. The Mako have a great track record in the Premiership. I’m especially looking forward to working with Leon MacDonald and the other coaches to develop my game further,” the 21-year-old said.
“I also hear great things about the team environment and the Tasman region. I feel this is a good decision for my rugby. I’m planning on a strong season for the Chiefs then continuing that form and impressing for the Mako.”
The move for Alaimalo is a step towards moving back to his home franchise, with Tasman being one of the Crusaders-aligned unions.
The Chiefs have a history of securing hot talent from the Crusaders region – Damian McKenzie and the man Alaimalo will replace, James Lowe, being prime examples. Again this year, the Chiefs swooped in to sign Tasman centre Levi Aumua for the 2018 season.
It looks like the Crusaders may get one back at some point in the future.
Tasman chief executive Tony Lewis was thrilled to have secured the signing of the 1.96m, 99kg Alaimalo.
“We’re delighted to secure Solomon as he is a quality player who the Mako coaches see playing fullback, centre or wing. He is a player with rare speed which makes his signing an exciting one for the team.”
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