The Seattle Seawolves have added the former University of New Mexico football and rugby player, Sitiveni “Siti” Tamaivena, as well as his twin brother, a former Utah State Linebacker, Suliasi “Suli” Tamaivena, to their 2020 extended roster. Both 26-year-old utility backs are 6’0″ and 230 lbs.
Siti is from Lautoka, Fiji, but grew up in Renton, Washington. His father Levi played for the Fiji Sevens from 1991-1999. His immediate close-knit family also included his mother Sera, and sisters Finau, Maggie, and Filly.
After initially attending Maryville Pitchuck High School, in Maryville, Washington, Siti and Suli attended Juanita High School on Kirkland. Both brothers played football prior to graduating in 2011. After graduating the twins then played rugby for two years with the Eastside Lions. At Juanita High School, Siti was named as an All-King County and All-Conference football player in his senior year.
Their mother Sera had other plans for their sons. “She just came home one night and was just like, ‘I need you guys to go back to football,’” Suli said. “And then I and my twin just looked at each other and we were like, ‘All right, we’ll do this for you.” They enrolled at Mt. San Antonio College, a junior college which is located in the Los Angeles superb of Walnut, California and spent three years there, from 2014-2016.
At Mt. Antonio College, both Suli and Siti played linebacker in 2014 and 2015. Siti was honored as a California Community College Athletic Association (CCAA) First-Team All-American his freshman year and First-Team All-State his sophomore year.
After the 2015 season, both Suli and Siti explored their football scholarship options. Siti and Suli had offers from San Jose State and Washington State. Both verbally committed to San Jose State, however, the assistant coach that recruited them left, and they rescinded their commitment. “Suli was actually part of Washington State’s 2016 signing class, and both brothers intended on playing for the Cougars.”
“However, Suli and Sitiveni never ended up in Pullman, Washington. That’s because they didn’t qualify academically. Suli used this opportunity to focus on his grades and he continued to take classes at Mt. SAC during the 2016-17 academic year, even though his JUCO playing days were over.”
Both brothers returned to play football in 2017. For the first time, they attended different schools. Siti went to the University of New Mexico as a Criminology major and played football in 2017 and in 2018. Suli attended Utah State. A highlight of his time at the University of New Mexico was playing against Utah State at the Arizona Bowl on December 29, 2017, despite the 24-10 loss.
Siti then returned to Washington and played rugby sevens with the Westside Ronins along with his brother Siti. In 2019, they helped the team represent the Pacific Northwest for the first time at the USA Club 7s Nationals and a seventh-place finish.
His performance over the Summer caught the attention of the Seattle Seawolves and in 2020 he and Siti will play professionally for the Seawolves.
Seattle Seawolves Comments
“I’m looking forward to performing with other players who are just as driven as I am on the top platform for North American rugby,” said Suli. “We both chose the Seawolves because Seattle is our hometown and we are very proud of where we come from.” Meanwhile, Siti is equally excited, ready to “help the team in any way I can, playing a game I truly love.”