Moana Pasifika signs another Aussie test player

New Super Rugby franchise Moana Pasifika has added a second Australian Test veteran to its books to bolster its impressive playing roster.

Former Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu will bring 110 caps of experience to the South Auckland-based Polynesian franchise.

“With 110 test caps to his name, former Wallaby Sekope Kepu will anchor our scrum in 2022,” Moana Pasifika said via social media.

“Kepu has played 295 professional matches since his debut in 2006 and brings with him a wealth of knowledge to impart on our exciting, young squad.”

Kepu has returned from a stint at UK club London Irish, but he returned to his native New Zealand this year to play for Counties Manukau squad in the provincial competition.

He retired from Test rugby in 2019 after 13 years straight playing for the Wallabies.

The 35-year-old is the eighth big-name recruit since signing Kepu’s national teammate Christian Leali’ifano was officially the first.

The pair are the only Moana Pasifika’s players who are ineligible to play for either Samoa or Tonga.

New Zealand NPC stars Ereatara Enari, Neria Foma’i, Solomone Funaki, Sione Tu’ipulotu, Tomasi Alosio and Henry Taefu are also a part of the inaugural squad for the 2022 season.

But Moana Pasifika coach Aaron Mauger has ruled out current All Blacks captain Ardie Savea, who is of Samoan heritage, after all but committing to the Hurricanes.

“Ardie is a great example of a guy, who understands his ability to influence and really serve the Pasifika community,” Mauger told New Zealand radio.

Moana Pasifika will join Fijian Drua next season in a revamped Super Rugby Pacific season next year after this year’s split Australian and New Zealand competitions before meeting in a Trans Tasman crossover series.

Moana Pasifika
New Moana Pasifika recruit Sekope Kepu celebrates his 100th cap for Australia in 2017. Photo: RugbyAU Media/Stu Walmsley

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