The Melbourne Rebels have signed Australian Under 20 centre Lalakai Foketi as a full time Member of the 2014 Rebels Super Rugby squad.
Lalakai became a supplementary squad Member on January the 1st and has represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2012 and played for the Australian Under 20s at the IRB Junior Rugby World Cup in 2013.
Lalakai is a centre who in 2013 starred for the Manly Marlins' Colts as they were defeated by the narrowest margin in the Grand Final, 36-35, by Sydney University.
A graduate of Sydney's famed King's School, Lalakai is a try-scoring centre, managing to cross the line on numerous occasions for both state (NSW) and national representative teams.
"Lalakai has been a great addition to our club and playing group here in Melbourne," Rebels' Head Coach Tony McGahan said.
"He has, through his attitude and ability to seek improvement, gained the respect of his teammates.
"I look forward to watching him grow as a full-time member of the squad, and I'm sure he will be ready for any opportunities that do come his way."
For Foketi, the chance to move to Melbourne is an opportunity he is thrilled to receive, and he is looking forward to challenging himself in the new environment.
"I am super excited, and there is nowhere else I would rather be," he says.
"Coming down here I was a bit nervous, but the boys have involved me in everything and it is kind of like a family here - it's awesome.
"Eventually, getting into the main squad and maybe even pushing for the bench in a couple of games would be great. I really want to feature in the National Rugby Championships if possible, and hopefully I can secure a full contract if I work hard over the course of the season."
Having some familiar faces at the Club has also helped Lalakai settle into his fresh surroundings.
"Ben Meehan has taken me under his wing and I'll be living with him which is great, as we played together at the Junior World Cup. I also know guys like Jordy, Cadeyrn and Pat from Manly, and they've been really helpful also."
Video of Lalakai Foketi