Born in American Samoa, Eagle #373 Valenese “Nese” Malifa grew up in Samoa where he excelled in Soccer and Tennis, going on to represent his home country. The Malifa family moved to Auckland, NZ when he was 14 years young, where he became exposed to the game of Rugby. Belmont Shore president (at the time), Doug Pye saw Nese’s continued growth and development through Auckland’s U19 & U20 teams and initiated his move to the United States.
Nese burst onto the US National rugby scene and within his first year, won his 1st Super League titles for Belmont Shore and was capped as an Eagle in the NA4’s in 2007. On the International stage, Nese has represented the USA in 3 Rugby World Cups (XV & 7’s) in 2007, 2009 and 2011. In 2010, Nese and identical twin brother Ata Malifa moved to Denver, CO and helped the Glendale Raptors secure their very 1st National Championship.
Now wearing the whistle and just as he played, Malifa will ensure the attack system of Rugby ATL pushes the PACE, phase count and meters of those who deny it’s game plan.