The New England Free Jacks signed Malakai Hala-Ngatai for the 2024 Major League Rugby season. The 20-year-old loosehead prop (21 in January) is 6’0″ and 275 lbs.
Malakai is from Napier, New Zealand, and attended Manukura School in Palmerston North. His performance in rugby was recognized and he was selected for the Super Rugby Hurricanes Under-20s in 2022. That year he also played for the All Blacks Under 20 side at the World Junior Championships, playing in all five matches and starting in two.
In 2023 he made his provincial debut in the National Provincial Championship for Manawatu, playing in seven matches, starting five.