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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Utah Warriors Sign USA Islander Saia Uhila

Photo: Norma Salinas
Press Release

The Utah Warriors and Head Coach Alf Daniels are proud to announce the signing of USA Islander Saia Uhila.

“Rugby is my passion. I’m ready to put everything I have into the success of this team” said Uhila. “I’ve been playing rugby in the states for a while now and I’ve noticed a few different mindsets; some people are afraid of change and are comfortable with where they are. I like change, I like progression. To me, that’s what the Warriors are about: change and progression”.

'Uhila is a 6’4 260lb number 8 who grew up in Tonga playing 1st XV rugby at Liahona High School. He came from a humble home where resources were limited, so rather than focus on himself, Saia pushed his younger brother Loni to fulfill their dream of becoming a professional rugby player. Saia’s youngest brother Loni is known as the Tongan Bear and recently moved from the Hurricanes Super Rugby team to Clermont in France.

Take the jump to read more.

Since moving to the U.S 'Uhila has Captained the Oceanside Chiefs and East Palo Alto Bulldogs. Uhila also spent time playing for the Life West Gladiators and made the Northern California Pelicans Select team in 2015.

'Uhila has spent the last two seasons playing for the Utah Brothers in the Rugby Utah Men’s Premier Division. As a captain, Uhila has been a menacing figure on the field and helped lead his team to last years final MPD final. On the back of an impressive MPD season, Uhila was selected for the both the Utah Selects and the USA Islanders who played Saracens in Bermuda.

“Saia is one of those players that you’re glad is your teammate, not your opponent,” said Warriors Head Coach, Alf Daniels. “He’s a very physical player but has great speed. Saia was one of the top individual performers in the MPD last season and earned his spot on the USA Islanders squad all while playing through a leg injury. He works hard, is vocal and leads from the front.”

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