Starting lock Tevita Naqali has been re-signed for his third campaign with Old Glory. The 28-year-old Fijian is the third of OGDC’s regular starters to confirmed for the 2022 roster, along with fellow Fijian Api Naikatini and Englishman Stan South. Together, theymade lock an area of strength for Old Glory.
Naqali has been a bastion of the second row, putting in more minutes than any other lock on the team, and nearly the most of any forward. He landed just shy of the thousand mark, with 962 minutes, just short of Steven Longwell’s 967. He played 14 matches for Old Glory, starting 13 of those.
Naqali has long been a willing ball carrier for Old Glory, using his 6’5″ frame to make 124 carries last season. On defense, his reliable 89% tackle rate has made him a significant asset. He had two tries in 2021, against Rugby ATL and the San Diego Legion.
It’s also worth pointing out the versatility that Naqali brings to the table, as he filled in at both flanker and number 8 when injuries hit hard late last season. While it’s not ideal to be moving players out of position, he performed well in the roles. In a league where depth is key, versatility is an important attribute.
Curious who has been signed and who is leaving? Check out our 2022 Signings Tracker for all the updates!