Valenese Malifa

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Valenese Malifa
Valenese Malifa Churchill Cup 2010 vs Russia.jpg
Full name Valenese Malifa
Date of birth (1985-09-24) September 24, 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth American Samoa
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fly-half
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Belmont Shore RFC
Glendale Raptors
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2007- United States 24 (63)
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
2007- United States 17 (307)

Valenese Malifa (born 10 September 1985 in American Samoa) is an American rugby union fly-half. He is a member of the United States national rugby union team and participated with the squad at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[1]

Youth[edit]

Nese Malifa has played rugby since he was 17 years old. He played for Auckland and Samoa Rugby Clubs. During his stint in the Pacific Islands, Malifa was a representative rugby player in Auckland in both the XV’s and Sevens game, as well as playing representative rugby in Samoa. Malifa’s talents were noticed by selectors while playing for Ponsonby and then the Eden Club in Auckland. Lesser known are Malifa’s talents in other sporting codes, as Malifa represented Samoa in Cricket.

Playing rugby is all in the family for Nese - his father and three brothers also play the game. Valenese used to play premier Auckland club rugby for the Eden Eagles. It is considered that his twin brother Ata Malifa, was the better player at youth level. Their older brother Angelo, was the best fullback in the Eden club.

Career[edit]

Malifa has played club rugby since moving to the U.S. mainland in 2006, first with Belmont Shore, who Malifa helped reach the 2006 national championship.[2] Malifa moved to Denver in 2010, where he has been playing with the Glendale Raptors.[3]

Malifa played flyhalf for the USA Hawks match against Canada West in the 2007 North America 4, notching all of his teams points through two converted tries and two penalty goals from two attempts.

Malifa has played flyhalf for the United States national team since his debut against the England Saxons in 2007. Malifa made two appearances at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, and played 3 matches for the U.S. at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Malifa's highest scoring match to date was against Russia in the 2011 Churchill Cup, where Malifa kicked 2 penalties and 3 conversions to lead the team in scoring with 12 points, as the U.S. edged out Russia 32-25.[4] As of December 2011, Malifa has tallied 24 caps and 63 points for the U.S. national team.[5]

Malifa plays flyhalf for the United States national rugby union team (sevens), and is known for his excellent drop kick.[6] Malifa led the U.S. in scoring during the 2009-10 IRB Sevens World Series with 120 points, helping the U.S. to its best ever 10th place finish.[7] Since 2011, Malifa has been the leading active player for the United States in goals kicked (100+).[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]