Foketi a Waratah until end of 2021


12/09/2019





NSW Waratahs centre, Lalakai Foketi has had his contract upgraded and extended, keeping him at Daceyville until the end of the 2021 Vodafone Super Rugby season.

Foketi was originally contracted until the end of 2020, but a series of strong performances in sky blue and the Shute Shield during the 2019 season earnt the Easts product a new deal.

It’s been an unconventional journey for Foketi, with the Australian U20 representative getting a taste of Super Rugby in Melbourne before three seasons with the Bay of Plenty in the Mitre 10 Cup, as well as a season in France with Bayonne.

NSWRU General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp said that Foketi’s experience abroad has been beneficial during his time with the Waratahs.

“Lalakai has really taken his opportunity to return to Super Rugby with both hands, he returned a more mature and complete player and performed really strongly when called upon [in 2019],” Rapp said.

“He hit the ground running in pre-season after an extended injury lay off, scoring a hat-trick in our trial against the Highlanders which gives you an idea of what he’s capable of with ball in hand.

“He’s got a real willingness to improve as a player and leads through his actions, his desire to represent New South Wales is something that will only help him in what will be a competitive [2020] pre-season.

“Given the trajectory of his development since arriving [in 2018], we’re excited about Lalakai’s potential over the coming years.”

Such is Foketi’s standing within the NSW Waratahs set up, he was named captain of Sydney by Chris Whitaker for the 2019 National Rugby Championship (NRC).

He says that appointment and his recent contract extension are proud moments in his young career.

“After coming back from a stress fracture, I was just looking forward to getting back to playing after a really good pre-season [in 2019],” Foketi said.

“I’m stoked to be here at the Waratahs for the next few seasons and feel there’s plenty more to accomplish in the sky blue jersey.

“I want to reach my potential as a player and I’d love to do that here in New South Wales, I’m really thankful for this contract extension and the support of the entire organisation.

“It’s been an honour to represent the Waratahs [since returning to Super Rugby] and I can only speak positively about how the coaches, support staff and my teammates have impacted my game – it’s a great environment.

“The NRC is an opportunity to get some more game time before pre-season and continue to make improvements ahead of 2020.

“It was a nice surprise when Whits [Chris Whitaker] asked me to captain the side, it’s a role I’m keen to embrace and a challenge I’m looking forward to.”


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