The Utah Warriors re-signed Tonata Lauti for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 31-year-old wing 32 at the end of December), is 5’8″ and 185 lbs.
Tonata signed with the team for the 2020 season, however, due to the COVID-19 shortened season, he was not medically cleared to play after sustaining an injury in 2019. The team will gain a proven try scorer for 2021.
During 2019, he played 730 minutes in 10 matches and scored 2 tries. He also carried 72 times for 802 meters, made 7 line breaks and 2 tackle breaks, made 39 tackles, and kicked twice for 93 meters.
Tonata was on the All-MLR first team in the 2018 season and was the leading try-scorer in the league with nine. He started all nine matches and played 709 minutes.
He is originally from Neiafu, Vava’u, Tonga, and is one of thirteen children. His family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1996 where he attended Highland High School. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school playing football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, track & field, but loved rugby.
He served on an LDS mission in West Africa and then attended the University of Utah, playing rugby for the Utes. At Utah, he was a Collegiate All-American for both 15’s and 7’s. He also played in the 2015 Halloween Sevens.
Nata currently lives in Herriman with his wife Erica. He is also a co-owner and operator at Lauti Construction.