San Diego Legion Faka’osi Pifeleti Returns

San Diego signed Faka’osi Pifeleti for the 2023 Major league Rugby season after claiming his signing rights in the 2022 MLR dispersal draft. The 26-year-old loosehead prop is 6’0″ and 265 lbs.

Faka’osi played 495 minutes for Austin Gilgronis in 13 matches, starting 7, and scored one try in 2022. He was then selected for the USA Falcons Toyota Challenge tour against the Toyota Cheetahs and Puma in the Fall. He was also named to the USA National Team traveling squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final Qualifier Tournament but did not see action.

He played 579 minutes in 13 matches, starting 9, and scored one try for San Diego Legion in 2021. In 2020 he started the first two matches of the truncated MLR season and returned after a minor injury as a replacement in the fifth match of the season. He played 127 minutes.

During the 2019 season, he played 746 minutes in 18 matches, starting 13, and scoring three tries. He carried the ball 72 times for 314 meters, had 1 linebreak, 2 tackle breaks, 2 offloads, and made 104 tackles. In 2018 he played 204 minutes in five matches, starting twice.

Faka’osi was born in California and is of Tongan heritage. His family moved to England where he attended Oaklands College Hertfordshire. He played club rugby with Burnham and with Luton Rugby Clubs. Before signing a contract with the Legion, he played with the Saracens Storm with his younger brother Kapeli.

Both brothers excelled for the Legion in 2019 and Kapeli, a hooker, returned to the Saracens.

Faka’osi represented the United States against the New Zealand All Blacks on October 23, 2021, at FedEx Field, making his international debut as a replacement in the second half.

About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant