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Zebre sign New Zealand No.8 Taina Fox-Matamua

By Kim Ekin
Taina Fox-Matamua (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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Italian URC side Zebre have strengthened their pack with the signing of New Zealand born No.8 Taina Fox-Matamua.

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Born in Auckland the powerful backrow plays for Tasman Mako, a club that last year reached the final of the provincial Bunnings NPC top national championship before losing to rivals Waikato.

The 24-year-old has signed until June 2022 and will arrive in Parma in the coming weeks, and will help fill the void of the temporary absences of injured backrowers Johan Meyer and Jimmy Tuivaiti.

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“I am very excited to join the Zebras and to give my contribution for this second half of the season,” said Taina Fox-Matamua. “I can’t wait to reach the splendid city of Parma and to take the field to represent the territory and its fans with honor ”.

Of Samoan heritage, Fox-Matamua grew up playing for Auckland’s oldest side, the Ponsonby Rugby Club.   After captaining St Peter’s College as a schoolboy, he moved to the south island and enters the academy of the Crusaders.

The 6’3, 110kg forward then played for Nelson Marists with whom he won the provincial Tasman Trophy.

He made his Tasman Mako debut comes in 2018, a year after his call-up with the Samoan U20 national team chosen to prepare for the World Cup in Georgia. Since then, Taina has made 12 official appearances, becoming champion of the New Zealand provincial top league in 2019 and again in 2020.

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