Veteran international prop Sekope Kepu has been named captain of New Zealand side Moana Pasifika for his first Super League season, the team announced on Wednesday. Kepu, who made three appearances in the Australian World Cup with 110 Test appearances for the Wallabies, said he jumped at the chance to lead the fledgling squad, which mainly includes Tongan and Samoan players.
“There is an indescribable bond of brotherhood in this special team even though we have only been together for a few months at most,” the 35-year-old told the team’s website. “Coming back to New Zealand I never thought I would play rugby again. God works in mysterious ways, being here and then called up to Moana Pasifika’s team was something I didn’t think twice about. time.”
Moana’s coach Aaron Mauger says Kepu practically chose himself as captain. “From the start, he has led by example – both in the way he trains, prepares and in the way he contributes to the culture of our team.
“In doing so, he effectively chose himself as the leader.” Kepu was born in Sydney to Tongan parents. Although the family moved to New Zealand when he was young, he later opted to represent Australia internationally.
He also played Super Rugby for over ten years for the Sydney-based Waratahs. Auckland-based Pasifika play their opener against ACT Brumbies on February 18.
They join Fijian Drua in the new 12-team Super Rugby Pacific competition featuring the Australian and New Zealand professional teams.
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