Austin Gilgronis signed Namatahi Waa for the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The 31-year-old tighthead/loosehead prop is 6’2″ and 262 lbs.
Namatahi is from Pipiwai, New Zealand in the Northland region, and attended Te Aute College in Hawke’s Bay from 2008 to 2010 and played for the first XV in rugby. He also played for the Hawke’s Bay Under-18s and Under-19s before moving to Auckland and playing with the Auckland Junior Under-21s in 2012 and Auckland B squad in 2013.
In 2014 he played with the Blues Development squad and Northland Rugby Union in the ITM Cup through the 2017 season, making 29 appearances. He made his Super Rugby debut for the Blues on 8 April 2015 against the Chiefs and made three appearances.
In 2019 he played for Taradale Rugby and Sports in the province’s club competition and later that year for Hawke’s Bay in the Mitre 10 Cup competition. Namatahi joins the Gilgronis after playing in the Bunnings National Provincial Championship in 2021.
In 2016, Namatahi, who is of Ngāpuhi descent, joined the Māori All Blacks squad for their Northern tour to Chicago, Limerick, and London as an injury replacement, but didn’t play the United States, Munster, or the Harlequins.