LA Giltinis signed Jonetani Munia Vasurakuta, who prefers to be called John, for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 21-year-old center/wing is 6’4″ and 210 lbs.
He originally signed with the Dallas Jackals, but following the postponement of their entry to the league until 2022, he became a free agent.
John began playing rugby when he was 6 years old in his hometown village of Nakorovou, Serua, Fiji. During primary school, he played for Milo Kaji before high school, where he competed for the U16s and U17s in the Dean’s Competition, which is the highest level in the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union and the oldest tournament in the Fiji rugby union.
He obtained a one-year scholarship to Timaru Boys High School in New Zealand in 2018 and represented Timaru on the 1st XV side as well as the 7s side. He also was selected for the Crusaders Knights U18 team who competes in the Super Rugby age-grade competition and played for the South Canterbury U18 team.
At the conclusion of the year in New Zealand, he returned to Fiji and was recruited for the Fijian High-Performance Unit Academy, which was part of the Fiji U20 extended squad. He also was selected for the Fiji Warriors side for the 2020 Pacific Challenge Cup. Jonetani then played for the Nadroga F.C. Senior team, as the youngest player on the side, and made his debut at the outside center in the Skipper Cup and Farebrother Sullivan Trophy Challenge against Suva Rugby Club. He also has played provincial rugby for Ratu Filise.
LA Giltinis Comments
Not only is the arrival of Seru Vularika and Jonetani Vasurakuta a boost for the depleted Giltinis and the Fijian community within Los Angeles, but it also a strong example of the work that has been done within World Rugby’s Pacific Island Player Placement Programme into the MLR.