The Utah Warriors signed Fetu’u Vainikolo for a third season in 2020. The 33-year-old wing and center, who will be 34 in January, is 6’0″ and 220 lbs.
Fets continued to impress during 2019. He played 923 minutes in 15 matches and scored 6 tries. He carried 80 times for 926 meters, had 15 line breaks, 11 tackle breaks, and made 38 tackles. His speed, elusiveness in the open field, and power made him a dangerous offensive threat to opposing teams, as his 2018 and 2019 MLR opponents have discovered. Look for him to excel in 2020 again.
The Utah Warriors Fetu’u Vainikolo spent the 2018 off-season playing for Tonga at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in July.
Fets previously played with the Otago Highlanders, Exeter Chiefs, and is Tonga’s international wing and leading try scorer.
Fets was born and raised in the small Tongan village of Ha’alalo. He moved with his family to New Zealand at the age of 12 and attended Marcellin College. He moved through age-group rugby levels in Auckland before moving to Wellsford club Northland in 2007.
Making his ITM Cup debut for Northland and caught the attention of Super Rugby franchises with his try-scoring ability. In 2008 Vainikolo joined the Highlanders and played for three years in Super Rugby. In 2011 he was included in the team’s wider training group.
After the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Vainikolo moved to Ireland to play Connacht in the Pro12 competition and in 2013 he joined the English Premiership Exeter Chiefs, helping them win the LV Cup in 2014. In 2015 he moved to France to play with Top 14 side Oyonnax and is now with Valence Romans.
Vainikolo & International Rugby
Vainikolo was selected to the Tonga National team where he debuted against Fiji on August 13 at Churchill Park, Lautoka. His last test for the ‘Ikale Tahi’ was against Italy at Padova, on Nov. 26, 2016. He played 28 tests, including 5 Rugby World Cup appearances in 2011 and in 2015 and is the leading try scorer in Tongan test history with 17 tries.