Warriors sign Onehunga Havili
HERRIMAN, UT – The Utah Warriors have signed Onehunga (Hunga) Havili (Second Row) to a multi-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.
“I have always wanted to experience playing in Major League Rugby, and when the opportunity came I was excited for it,” said Havili. “Utah specifically has strong Polynesian ties and culture, which is something that I’ve missed as I have traveled for rugby.”
“We are excited to have Hunga joining the Warriors,” said Warriors’ General Manager Brandon Sparks. “He will bring experience and versatility to our forward pack which will make him an exciting addition to our game day roster. His desire to be a part of the Utah community and his strong character made him an easy signing.”
Havili (6’5”, 253) is a native of Tonga, where he learned to play the sport of rugby. As a child, Havili toured New Zealand with the Tongan Under-14 Team before being recruited to play for Sacred Heart College in Auckland, New Zealand.
The 26-year-old Havili comes to Utah with a wealth of experience in the sport of rugby. Havili got his start in professional rugby playing for the Blues’ Under-18 team, after which he moved to Australia to play for Perth’s Future Force Academy. Havili spent four years in Perth, playing for the Perth Spirit (NRC) and the Western Force (Super Rugby).
Following his time in Perth, Havili earned a contract with the Exeter Chiefs of Premiership Rugby and moved to Europe, where he spent two seasons. Following 2019, Havili moved to Japan to play for the HITO-Communications Sunwolves, before returning to Europe in 2020 to play for Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne of Rugby Pro D2 in France.
In addition to his professional rugby experience, Havili’s play earned him a spot with the Tongan National Team in 2017. Havili has made eight appearances for Tonga since 2017, making one start.
“I’m going to come to the Warriors and work hard to earn my spot first, then focus on what I can do to contribute to my team and get a win every week,” said Havili. “Also, with this being my first year in the MLR, I have to adapt quickly to the style of play and focus on doing my part in order to help the team win.”
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) September 28, 2022
Hunga joins a second-row position group that features second-year Warrior Jamie Lane, 2022 Draft Pick Greg Janowick, new Warrior Jonah Dietenberger and Utah Warriors’ ‘Chief’ Saia Uhila, who re-signed with the team last week.
You can secure your tickets to see Hunga Havili and the rest of the Utah Warriors in action by visiting warriorsrugby.com or by calling 801-477-7652.
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