Old Glory has announced the re-signing of lock Api Naikatini. The 36-year-old, who first joined from the Seattle Seawolves in 2020, is the second lock to re-sign with the team after Stan South signed last month.
Naikatini is the oldest of the trio of starting locks that Old Glory used in 2021. At 36-years-old brings a wealth of experience to the pack: almost a decade of New Zealand provincial rugby, a few years in Japan, a few more in France, 18 appearances for the Fijian national team, and the championship-winning Seattle Seawolves. It cannot be overstated just how much rugby knowledge the guy brings to the table.
In 2021 Naikatini put in a respectable 840 minutes in 14 appearances, mostly starting alongside Tevita Naqali or Stan South. Despite getting on in years, he was a frequent ball carrier, and he even managed to grab himself a try towards the end of the season.
It looks like Naikatini will be trucking on for another season at least, which is great news for the team. Between him, Naqali, and South, the lock position has been strong for Old Glory. Hopefully, with the continued development of Casey Renaud, the team can avoid overworking Naikatini.
Curious who has been signed and who is leaving? Check out our 2022 Signings Tracker for all the updates!