The Western Force’s squad for the 2024 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season continues to take shape with the announcement of the signing of former All-Blacks prop Atu Moli.
The 28-year-old has five caps for New Zealand including playing at the 2019 Rugby World Cup where the All-Blacks finished third.
Moli can play tighthead and loosehead prop, offering versatility to the Force scrum line-up. He will relocate to Perth later this year having been with the Chiefs since 2016, where he made 53 Super Rugby appearances and scored three tries.
The former All-Black also captained his country at Under-20 level, leading the side to the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship title.
Moli’s signing follows the contract extension of fellow prop Santiago Medrano, along with the addition of off-season recruits Lopefi Taifua, Harry Hoopert, Will Harris, Harry Potter, Ben Donaldson and Nic White for the 2024 season.
Force head coach Simon Cron was thrilled to add a player of Moli’s calibre and experience to his squad.
“One of the positions we needed to add squad depth was at tighthead prop,” Cron said.
“Atu brings with him a wealth of experience which will benefit us on the field, as well as helping to mentor some of our developing front row forwards off the field.
“The fact he can swing, and play both sides, gives us some flexibility and is a very unique skillset.”
“Atu feels like some of his best rugby is still ahead of him. It's now our job to help him achieve that.”
Moli was excited by his new challenge as well as the opportunity to play in front of the Sea of Blue at HBF Park, where the Force won five of six home games last year.
“I’m looking forward to taking my young family across to Australia,” Moli said. “I have very much enjoyed my time at the Chiefs but excited for a new challenge.
“In speaking to Simon Cron and some of the boys playing at the Force, I'm excited about where the club is heading and to be a part it.
“When playing against the Force previously I’ve seen how loyal and passionate the supporters are. It will be great to meet and get amongst the fans next season.”
Atu Moli Position: Tighthead prop/loosehead prop Height: 190cm Weight: 130kg Born: 12/06/1995 Provincial club: Tasman All-Blacks caps: 5 for New Zealand (2017-2019) All-Blacks debut: 14/11/2017 v France XV, Lyon International debut: 20/07/2019 v Argentina, Buenos Aires