Seattle Seawolves Re-Signs Suliasi Tamaivena

The Seattle Seawolves re-signed Suliasi “Suli” Tamaivena for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 27-year-old wing (28 in June) is 6’0″ and 230 lbs. He joins twin brother Siti, who has also re-signed with the team.

Suli played in two matches as a reserve during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season.

Suli 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, Suli, and Siti attended Juanita High School in Kirkland. Both brothers played football prior to graduating in 2011. After graduating the twins then played rugby for two years with the Eastside Lions.

Suli played rugby sevens with Old Puget Sound Beach at the 2012 USA Club 7s Nationals and for the Serevi Selects at the 2013 Las Vegas Invitational.

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. Suli was honored as a California Community College Athletic Association (CCAA) First-Team All-American, First-Team All-Region III, and was the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National Division Central Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a Sophomore in 2015. He was ranked#58 overall junior college prospect by after his sophomore year.

After the 2015 season, both Suli and Siti explored their football scholarship options. Suli had offers from San Jose State, UTEP, and Washington State.  Siti also considered 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 Both verbally committed to San Jose State, however, the assistant coach that recruited them left, and they rescinded their commitment.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. Suli went to Utah State from 2017-2018 and graduated with a Sociology Degree. In 2017, he was selected by Phil Steele’s magazine to the Third-Team All-Mountain West for the Aggies. A highlight of his time at Utah State was playing against his brother Siti at the Arizona Bowl on December 29, 2017, a 24-10 win over the University of New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque.

Photo Wade Denniston

Following his graduation, Suli 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.

He and his wife Lusiana are proud parents of a son, Levi, and a daughter Keleva.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant