Sione Tuihalamaka Joins The LA Giltinis
The LA Giltinis have announced the signing of California Native and former San Diego Legion Development Prop Sione Tuihalamaka. The huge prop has been developing with the Legion, since switching from American Football. He had previously been a Defensive Linesman, with the University Of Arizona Wildcats. The 29 year old has been developing well and his huge frame could become a cornerstone of the Giltinis Scrum, especially under the tutelage of Scrum Coach Alex Corbisiero. The Giltinis have already signed the Smith twins and Blake Rogers, in the propping department, and they are building a hugely powerful scrum. Tuihalamaka offers more than just scrummaging, with some serious power around the pitch.
Tuihalamaka spent a few seasons playing in the Indoor Arena Football League, with the Portland Thunder and the Los Angeles Kiss. He then turned his attentions to rugby and joined the Legion. They will be sad to see a prospect like Tuihalamaka go, but the move sees him play for his hometown and they won’t begrudge that. It is a further sign of the Giltinis commitment, to improving local talent and giving them a chance to shine in a professional environment. Tuihalamaka has signed a one year deal and he will be doing everything he can to get that extended and bring success to this side.
What They Said:
“Man, I’ve got 51 first cousins so I know where part of the crowd is coming from,”
“I’m super-excited for this chance in LA because as soon as I saw a MLR team was starting in my home town I knew I had to jump on.
“I’ve played with the rugby clubs of Belmont Shore, Los Angeles, Ventura County and San Fernando Valley so I know just how much talent and enthusiasm there is for the game in and around LA.
“To now know that talent is going to be exposed to high-calibre coaching in development programs is a big thing because it’s going to create futures in rugby.”
“For sure, my dad (Kisione) played rugby being born in Tonga and I grew up playing touch rugby through church,”
“Dad keeps asking when the rugby is starting back up…I keep saying March and it’s going to be good.
“It wasn’t until I was 22 that I correctly played rugby and I just enjoy the game, the brotherhood and camaraderie.
“Plus, you get to hit people and that’s kind of therapeutic. Going from being a defensive lineman to prop fits because it’s basically big man on big man at scrum-time.”
LA Giltinis Skills Coach Orene Ai’i:
“Sione is an ex-football player so he tackles hard and he carries the ball strongly,”
“He’s still a little raw after playing prop for just three or four years but his willingness to learn is strong and we know he’s a really good team man who will add his knowledge of the LA rugby scene.”