New Zealand Rugger Manase Tu’ungafasi Signs With BYU Football

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RWU HQ – The Brigham Young University football team bolstered its offensive line late last week when New Zealand rugger Manase Tu’ungafasi signed his letter of intent to play for manase1the Cougars on May 22, according to a press release from the university.

“We are excited to welcome Manase as the newest member of the BYU football program,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “He is an excellent athlete with exceptional size coming from a rugby background out of New Zealand. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know Manase, and we look forward to helping him develop as a football player here at BYU.”

Tu’ungafasi is one of the latest dual-sport athletes to join the Cougars football team, joining defensive line prospect and fellow South Pacific rugger Motekiai Langi of Tonga. Coming to the school with an extensive rugby background, the 6-foot-7, 322-pound prospect could be a very good offensive linemen down the road.

manase2The Auckland native attended Massey High School and played on the Auckland Academy rugby team. Tu’ungafasi was one of the top high school ruggers when he lived in Aukland. He played for the Samoa Under-20 team at the Junior World Championships in 2014.

Considering Tu’ungafasi doesn’t have a lot of experience on the gridiron, don’t expect the dual-sport athlete to make a too big of an impact in his first couple years on the team.

It looks like Mendenhall offered  the dual-sport athlete a scholarship purely based on his raw ability and potential. So, if the 322-pound rugger can make some sort of impact by his senior year, this signing will be well worth it.

And hey, if football doesn’t work out, Tu’ungafasi can always join the BYU rugby team!

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DJ Eberle is easily the largest of the RWU Team; Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native played OT for Western New England University until he graduated in 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's moonlights on MeetTheMatts.com. His Dad played prop with Johnathan Wicklow Barberie and Matt McCarthy - who also in a MeetTheMatts.com moonlighter. DJ's cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. There is hope, though, that his genetic inclination for Rugby, will cure him of that! Follow him on Twitter: @DJEberle66