RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby trio sign on for next season - The Coventry Observer

RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby trio sign on for next season

COVENTRY Rugby have consolidated their forward pack for next season after Senitiki Nayalo, Suva Ma’asi and Obinna Nkwocha all signed new deals with the club.

British Army no.8 Nayalo is Cov’s second longest-serving current player and extends his spell at Butts Park Arena into a sixth season while exciting young lock Obinna Nkwocha and hooker Suva Ma’asi have also agreed fresh terms.

The trio join James Tyas, Tom Ball, Matt Kvesic, captain Jordon Poole, Ryan Hutler and Pat Pellegrini in committing to Alex Rae’s side for the 2024/25 season.

Rae said: “Senitiki is a hugely popular person within the squad,” he said. He’s always got a smile on his face and is someone a lot of the younger players look up to. We’re delighted and lucky to have him with us, He’s playing some of his best rugby and can have a huge impact on matches again next season.

“Obinna staying is a real coup for the club and is testament to the rugby programme we have here. He had a lot of attention and offers but felt the best place for him to develop was here. He works hard every single day to improve and with that mindset I’ve no doubt he’ll have another hugely successful year.

“It’s brilliant to have Suva with us again – he’s totally bought into what we’re about and really wears his heart on his sleeve when he’s out there playing. His work ethic is outstanding and that’s exactly the type of person we want around here.”

Ma’asi added: “I’m very happy to be part of this team for another year and can’t wait for the new season to start.

“This will be my fifth season at Cov and being part of such a tight-knit group has been very special.

“I have developed massively as a player during my time at Cov as I was quite a recent convert from centre to hooker when I arrived.

“With help from the coaches I’m still working on some technical things. I’m sure there’s more improvement to come and hope I can help the team continue to progress.”

Nayalo arrived at Cov in 2019 on the back of impressive spells in the Premiership with London Irish and at Edinburgh in the Pro-14.

The Fijian-born back-rower won man-of-the-match in the recent showpiece Army-Navy game at Twickenham.

Nkwocha reportedly turned down offers from a number of Premiership clubs to continue his development under Rae and his coaching group.

The talented second row forward joined Cov after completing his time in Saracens’ academy and has since been a regular selection in the Championship’s team-of-the week.

Dynamic hooker Ma’asi extends his stay at the Butts Park Arena into a fifth season.

The fans’ favourite recovered from a lengthy spell on the sidelines to make an impressive impact in the second half of the 2023/24 season and made his landmark 50th appearance in blue and white during Cov’s recent win at Nottingham.

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