Super Rugby Pacific: Moana Pasifika star on his way to the Crusaders
The Crusaders have bolstered their backline stocks with the news that exciting Moana Pasifika centre Levi Aumua has agreed to join them on a two-year contract from 2024.
He has been part of the Moana Pasifika squad since their inaugural Super Rugby Pacific campaign in 2022, and also had stints with the Chiefs in 2018 and Blues in 2019.
Aumua also represents Tasman Mako in New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship (NPC) and has made nearly 50 appearances for the Nelson-based outfit over two stints, the first from 2017 to 2019 and the second from 2021 onwards.
The 28-year-old was also selected for the All Blacks XV’s end-of-year tour in 2022 to play matches against Ireland ‘A’ and the Barbarians in Dublin and London respectively.
Crusaders general manager professional rugby Angus Gardiner is delighted that Aumua has committed his future to Super Rugby Pacific‘s defending champions.
“Levi is an extremely exciting player and we’re looking forward to him bringing his own point of difference to the playing group we’re building here at the Crusaders,” he told the Crusaders’ official website.
“He’s had an outstanding season with Moana Pasifika, his stats are undeniable and his outputs across the park are very high.”
As an athlete who is comfortable in various backline positions – from the midfield to outside back positions – Gardiner said Aumua had showed what he could do.
“We’re excited about helping him achieve his goals,” added Gardiner. “His versatility will really open up our selection options in the ’24 season.”
On leaving Moana Pasifika, Aumua revealed that he had “never been in a team like this – the memories created will last a lifetime.”
“I would like to say how very thankful I am to Moana Pasifika for providing me the platform over the last few years to get on the field to play and express myself with a great group of players,” he added.
“In my career I have been lucky enough to play all over the world, but in recent times my desire to try play for the All Blacks has intensified.
Chasing his All Blacks dream
“At the end of last year, I got a small taste with the All Blacks XV which only strengthened my hunger to play for the All Blacks.
“With this in mind, I have decided to commit myself to the Crusaders for the next two years, a group I know well from my time with Tasman Makos.
“For now, my focus is on finishing the season strong with Moana.”
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