Strength, explosiveness, versatility and an instinct for purpose are the main qualities Vetoli Baiathe Tongan international who signed with Zebre Parma and participated in more than 25 matches in Super Rugby, the premier league in the southern hemisphere, in the shirts of the New Zealand club Crusaders and Highlanders.
Starting next season, the flexible three-quarters, randomly deployed in the center/winger position and if necessary as a full-back, will add quality and consistency to the three-quarter line of the Italian squad competing in two international BKT United Rugby Championships and the EPCR Challenge Cup against the best teams from Europe, the UK and South Africa.
Statements by Vitoli Baia: “I am honored by the confidence the club has placed in me. I believe in the project undertaken and am motivated to embrace the challenges we face. I’ve heard great things about the environment in Parma and I can’t wait to take the field in front of the Zebre fans and supporters.”
Paea – 190 cm tall and weighing 102 kg – will arrive in Parma in July, at the end of the Super Rugby season with the Highlanders, one of the four best franchises in New Zealand.
Born in Tofoa on August 16, 1994, he made his debut in 2019 with Tasman Mako in the Miter 10 Cup, the New Zealand National Provincial Championship, taking the field in nine matches and contributing to winning the tournament’s final title “Sharks”.
His skills as an “impact player” do not go unnoticed. In 2020 he was signed by the highly regarded Crusaders, winners of the Aotearoa Super Rugby that year. In 2021, the Tongan youth signs with the Highlanders and continues his activity with Tasman Mako with whom he won the Miter 10 Cup again in 2020.
The obedient full-back, who previously represented Tonga U18, Tonga 7 and other national teams in November Test matches and the Pacific Nations Cup, currently boasts five caps for Tonga. In 2020 he also had the opportunity to pitch against the Maori All Blacks wearing the jersey of newly formed Pacific Islanders franchise Moana Pasifika.
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