Utility Back William Talataina Signs with Old Glory

Samoan utility back William Talataina has signed on for Old Glory’s 2022 season. The 26-year-old has spent time with the New Zealand U19 and Samoan U20 squads, and has played profesisonally in the NPC in New Zealand.

Not a lot of information is available on Talataina, so it’s a bit difficult to guage his level and where he’ll fit into the lineup. Old Glory’s press releases suggests that he will primarily play at flyhalf or center. At 6’2″ and 227 lbs, he is comparable in size to Renata Roberts-Te Nana, and should be a good fit at center.

Based on this limited information, I wonder if we will see him as the primary backup flyhalf next season. Last year the team struggled to replace Jason Robertson effectively when he was injured. Mostly, it fell to Mike Dabulas to fill the role, since he had experience at the position in college. While he handled himself reasonably well, he didn’t seem to be a natural fit at the position, and sometimes seemed to struggle with the physicality on defense required from the flyhalf. As a larger natural center, Talataina may be the go-to choice if Saifoloi isn’t on the pitch.

Right now, this is all complete speculation. We won’t really know until the season gets underway and we see him on the pitch. Still, I have high hopes – after all, the last utility back we got out of New Zealand was Renata Roberts-Te Nana, and that has worked wonderfully. Let’s hope Talataina has similar success.

Curious who has been signed and who is leaving? Check out our 2022 Signings Tracker for all the updates!