Utah Warriors & Jackson Kaka
The Utah Warriors signed former Brigham Young University All-American and USA Rugby Selects Flanker Jackson Kaka for the inaugural 2018 Major League Rugby season. He is 6’4″ and 250 pounds.
Kaka is a native of Aotearoa, New Zealand and later lived on the Australian Gold Coast before moving to Hawaii where he attended Kahuku High School. In high school, Kaka played both basketball and Football, lettering in both sports. Kaka played tight end and defensive line for the Red Raiders and He was voted to the East team for the East versus West All-Star game.
He then went to New Mexico State on a football scholarship in 2011. After one season, Kaka returned to New Zealand to serve an LDS mission in Wellington. Post-mission, Kaka transferred to BYU in January 2015 and spent a year with the Cougars’ football team playing in four games, but suffered a season-ending injury.
After recovering from a broken elbow, Kaka joined the BYU Rugby team and was named an All American and in 2017. Based on his performance, he was selected for the USA Rugby Selects for the Americas Pacific Challenge in Montevideo, Uruguay against Samoa A where he started at No.8.
This past summer, Kaka played 7s for the first time with the Rugby Utah Selects and helped the team win back to back USA Club 7s National Championships.
Currently, Jackson Kaka has been playing with his local rugby club, Humless Rugby that competes in Rugby Utah’s Men’s Premier Division. Kaka’s contribution to the Humless rugby club has seen them as top contenders in the local tournament.
Kaka said “I can’t wait to get on the field with my Warriors brothers and do battle. Coach Daniels is someone who is highly respected in my hometown so it’ll be great to learn from a man like him. I’ve lived and gone to school here in Utah for a while now, it’s where my wife is from so I’m grateful to stay here and keep growing on and off the field. Being involved with a lot of the boys this summer in the Rugby Utah Selects 7s was an awesome experience to unite the BYU, Utah and local club players. We made people take notice of the Utah rugby scene and we look to do that again in Major League Rugby.”
Warriors Head Coach Alf Daniels said “Jackson is developing into a really solid player. He’s a very talented all-around athlete. He’s got good eye-hand coordination from basketball and has a toughness and work ethic from training in top college football programs. He’s only started to tap into his full potential. Having only played organized rugby for a few years, he’s picked up the game quickly and it’s no wonder he has caught the eye of national selectors.”
- Alf Daniels – Head Coach
- Paul Lasike – Center
- John Cullen – Lock, Backrow
- Lote Tuipulotu – Hooker (Prop)
- Alex Tucci – No.8
- Kenny Scott – Flanker, Wing
- Saia Uhila – No. 8
- Matt Jensen – Lock
- Pio Vatuvei – Prop
- Jackson Kaka – Flanker