The Los Angeles Giltinis have signed Colorado XO prop Ma’ake Muti, the team announced on Thursday afternoon.
Muti becomes the first member of the XOs to sign with a Major League Rugby team.
“I’m super excited,” Muti said of the move to the Giltinis in the team’s release. “I get to work with (scrum coach) Alex Corbisiero, who was an absolute beast at scrum-time for England, and soak up everything I can training with some legends of the game.”
A three-sport athlete in football, wrestling, and track & field in high school, Muti went on to play football at Azusa Pacific University in California. He picked up rugby at Azusa Pacific after his football career ended in 2018.
Muti originally signed a contract to play with the Dallas Jackals developmental team in December 2020, but his plans changed in January when the Jackals announced their decision to withdraw from the 2021 MLR season and push their inaugural season back to 2022. Muti, whose brother Netane plays guard for the Denver Broncos, found his way to Colorado and signed with the XOs in February.
“He was a great leader and teacher for the other truly new players to the game with the XOs,” Colorado XO manager Peter Pasque said via the release. “We offered up Ma’ake to try out for the Giltinis and now he gets to make his dream come true of playing in MLR.”
Muti played in all four of the matches that Colorado played between February and April. He scored one try in the XOs’ 71-7 win over SoFlo Rugby Football Club on March 26.
“Those games with the XOs definitely helped me along,” Muti said via the release. “Playing football in the defensive line translates to the physicality you need in rugby which is an even more physical game without pads.”