Reds call for captain ‘Kuki’

Rugby | Published:

FORMER TONGA international Apakuki Ma’afu says he plans to continue leading by example for Jersey Reds next season as the club’s new captain.

Apakuki Ma'afu has been named Jersey Reds captain as he approaches his fourth season with the club Picture: ROB CURRIE

The 32-year-old has been promoted to the top job within the playing staff for the 2019/20 Championship campaign, following three years at St Peter which have brought rise to three consecutive record finishes. His powerful performances at centre have been stunningly consistent during that time and director of rugby Harvey Biljon has opted to switch his leadership roles to reward that influence.

Ma’afu will be supported by vice-captains Roy Godfrey, who shared the captaincy with Jerry Sexton last year, and Max Argyle.

‘I’m honoured, I really am honoured to take on this role,’ said the softly spoken Ma’afu.

‘This is my fourth season here. I have been here through dark times and good times too and if there was a time where I was going to get the captaincy I feel like the time’s right now. I’m excited for the challenge ahead.

‘Conversations started about two weeks into pre-season and it took time for it to sink in and for me to think about the role before we made it permanent.

‘I always try and lead by my actions, on and off the pitch. I’m not a victory speaker and the boys know me that way ... being one of the senior boys in the group I guess it’s age and maturity.’

Discussing their pre-season efforts so far this summer, ahead of their first friendly fixture against Old Elthamians on 17 August, he added: ‘So far all we’ve been doing is working hard ... that’s been the focus, not the first game of the season.

‘We’re getting over the hurdle of pre-season and turning up each and every day to get fit and thinking about how we want to set our foundations.

‘The coaches obviously want us to have a big season but we need to start in the right way and live in the moment.’

Meanwhile, the club have also announced their final two new signings for next season. Australian duo Sam Offer (lock) and James Wayland (prop) have been added to the roster, taking the squad up to 36 professionals.

Jason Fox

By Jason Fox

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