Rugby-Former Wallaby Kepu signs up for Pasifika Super Rugby team


FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - Scotland vs Australia - BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Britain - November 25, 2017 Australia's Sekope Kepu after being sent off Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Experienced former Australia prop Sekope Kepu will join his former Wallabies team mate Christian Lealiifano at Moana Pasifika when the Super Rugby team side makes its debut next season.

Born in Sydney to Tongan parents, the 35-year-old Kepu played 110 tests for Australia between 2008 and 2019 and will join Moana Pasifika after finishing up with New Zealand provincial outfit Counties Manukau.

The signing of flyhalf Lealiifano, who boasts Samoan heritage, was announced last week as coach Aaron Mauger started putting together his squad for the first year of Super Rugby Pacific.

Former Leicester Tigers and Otago Highlanders coach Mauger, who is of Samoan, Tahitian and Cook Islands descent, signed a three-year deal to coach the side earlier this month.

Moana Pasifika will be based at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium and be joined in Super Rugby Pacific by another new team in Fijian Drua.

The two new sides representing the Pacific Islands and Pasifika diasapora will take on the 10 established New Zealand and Australian Super Rugby sides from February to June next year.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Richard Pullin)

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