The American Raptors signed Ma’ake Muti for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old tighthead prop is 6’1″ and 250 lbs.
Ma’ake played 92 minutes in 6 matches for the LA Giltinis in their 2021 Major League Rugby Shield Championship season. He then returned to the American Raptors since then.
Ma’ake impressed coaches at a recent try-out and the physical, strong-running forward was added to the roster afterward.
Ma’ake was signed to the Dallas Jackals development side, and then played with the Rugbytown Crossover Academy team, Colorado XO after the Jackals postponed the team’s entry into MLR until 2022.
Ma’ake is from Niutoua, Tongatapu, Tonga, and moved with his family to Hawaii in 2008. He attended Leilehua High School and was a multisport athlete. He wrested for a year, coming in third in the OIA and second in the State High School Championship in the 285 lb weight class. He was on the track and field team, was the team captain for one year, and won the OIA Western Championship in the shot put. He also played football as an All-State Honorable Mention as a nose guard. He played for the Kalihi Raiders in rugby and played in the 2014 Lava Lava Festival.
He is one of four children with brothers Netane, who plays as a guard for the Denver Broncos in the NFL, Manamouri, and his sister Ana. In 2014, he and his family became U.S. citizens December 2014.
Following his graduation from high school in 2014, he attended Azusa Pacific University from 2014-2019, majoring in Business Management. He played football for four years, and in his senior year in 2018, was GNAC Defensive Lineman of the Year. He then returned to play rugby in 2019 and helped the team win the NSCRo Challenge Cup in New York, and was named the Impact Player. He also was on the Pacific Coast Grizzlies All-Star Team which won a championship in Houston, Texas.
DJCoil Rugby articles by Doug Coil are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe to include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.