NOLA Gold Rugby Club added Kavika Peniata for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. The 30-year-old prop is 6’1″ and 290 lbs.
Kavika played for New Orleans Rugby Club in 2020, the Minnesota Senior Men’s All-Stars last spring, and for Metropolis Rugby Club. He played in the preseason for NOLA Gold against the Midwest All-Stars. During the 2019 MLR season, Kavika provided injury over in two matches, where he played 22 minutes, had 5 carries for 20 meters, and made 5 tackles.
Kavika was born and raised in Minnesota. He played rugby with the Plymouth Panthers before going on a two-year church mission. Upon his return, he attended Spearhead University, graduating in 2012. He joined Metropolis Rugby Club and has played with the team since then. He was the team’s captain in 2016.
Nate Osborne was a player-coach at Metropolis and indicated that “he is a dynamite player with great ball skills and an unbelievable defensive player.” Kaviaka began his time on the wing, switched to center, then to No.8 before moving to the front row as a prop.
In 2018 he was selected to the Minnesota Senior Men’s All-Stars and the team became Western Champions of the Midwest Rugby Union. He was also a member of the Midwest Selects.
NOLA Gold has utilized several players from Metropolis on the team and when the team has a need, players can come into the team with an understanding of the system that Nate Osborne uses. That eases the transition.
Kavika played with NOLA Gold briefly in 2019 and has returned for the 2020 season.