Rugby United New York re-signed Sakaria Taulafo for the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 38-year-old (39 in January) loosehead prop is 6’0″ and 255 lbs.
Sak played 661 minutes in 14 matches, 12 as a starter, and scored one try for New York in 2021. Following the conclusion of the season, he signed a two-year contract with Graulhet in the French Fédérale 1 league. He played both loosehead and tighthead prop for New York and his experience, leadership, and sense of humor proved invaluable for the team.
Sak continues to perform at an international level. Last weekend, Sak was expected to play for Samoa against the Barbarians at Twickenham, but a positive COVID-19 test on the Barbarians caused the match to be canceled.
Sak played for the Colorado Raptors in 2020, starting four matches and appearing in the other match as a reserve during the truncated MLR season.
Sakaria was born in Savaii, Samoa, and lived in the village of Asau Savai’i and Malie Upolu. He played in 2001 for the Samoa U19s on tour in Chile and the U18s that year.
He moved to New Zealand in 2002 to attend Nelson College on a rugby scholarship and played for the school’s 1st XV rugby side. The Nelson Rugby Football Club, the first rugby club in New Zealand, is where he began playing rugby after school. He then played for Nelson Bays from 2003-2005 and for the Tasman Makos from 2006-2009.
After he first played for Manu Samoa in the November tests, he was signed by the London Wasps and played with them from 2009-2013 in the English Premiership. With the Wasps, he played in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
From 2013-2018 he played in the French Top 14 League for Stade Francais. He played in the Heineken Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Sakaria spent the 2018-2019 season with Ceret in the French Federale 1 League. He also played for Samoa A in 2019 and returned to Samoa and played rugby locally to be considered for inclusion in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Unfortunately, Sakaria was disappointed to not be included in the selection for the Rugby World Cup.
Zac should be a good addition to New York for 2021. Teams can’t have enough props with international experience.
Samoa National Team
Sakaria has 44 caps, 39 of them starts, for the Samoa National XVs Team from 2009-2016. He made his debut against Wales on November 13, 2009, and his last test was against Canada on November 25, 2016. He played in two Rugby World Cups in 2011 and 2015, starting all eight matches.