Melani Nanai

Melani Nanai
236

SNAPSHOT

  • Number: 236
  • Position: Wing / Fullback
  • Born: 03/08/93
  • Height: 1.94m
  • Weight: 90kg
  • Province: Auckland
  • Provincial Debut: 2014 v Bay of Plenty
  • Blues Debut: 2015 v Cheetahs
  • Blues Caps: 29

Melani came into the Blues via the club system, rather than the usual college or age-group representation, playing for Manukau Rovers under the watchful eye of current club president, Frank Bunce.

Not only did this fast and elusive outside back gain a starting spot with the Blues in his first full season, he also won 2015 Rookie of the Year, following on from his 2014 Development Player of the Year award.

He began his high schooling at De La Salle College before returning to Samoa in 2009 at the end of his 5th form. He was a member of the Samoa Under-20 team that competed in the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship. He returned to New Zealand and where he was first selected for Auckland in 2014.

Melani found a home at fullback in 2016 where he produced some eye-catching displays, safe under the high ball and producing some outstanding and elusive footwork on attack in his 11 appearances, scoring five tries.