NZ prop signs for Waratahs
December 12, 2007

125kg prop Sekope Kepu has become the 33rd and final member of the HSBC Waratahs squad for 2008, joining the team in pre-season training this week.

The Australian-born loose head is a former New Zealand representative at under 21, under 19 and under 17 level and has also played for Counties Manukau in the Air New Zealand Cup in each of the past three seasons.

"Sekope came to us looking for an opportunity, which we were only too happy to accommodate," HSBC Waratahs head coach Ewen McKenzie said.

"He's technically very good and he's also big and strong so it's a good combination.

"It's a unique situation because while he's represented New Zealand at underage level he was born in Sydney and holds an Australian passport.

"He comes highly rated and he'll compliment the squad greatly."

Kepu joins fellow props Alastair Baxter, Matt Dunning, Benn Robinson and Jeremy Tilse in the 33 man squad.

The giant loose head prop was born in Sydney to Tongan parents and comes to the HSBC Waratahs having represented New Zealand at under 17, 19 and 21 level. He was captain of the Wesley College first XV in 2004, the school that also gave rise to All Black great Jonah Lomu. A member of the Chiefs wider training group between 2005 & 2007, a broken collarbone suffered in June ruled Kepu out of Air New Zealand Cup action with provincial side Counties Manukau.

HSBC WARATAHS SQUAD 2008 (in alphabetical order)

Phil Waugh [c], Ben Batger, Alastair Baxter, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Will Caldwell, Matt Carraro, Tom Carter, Dave Dennis, Matt Dunning, Rocky Elsom, Adam Freier, Daniel Halangahu, Sam Harris, Ben Jacobs, Alex Kanaar, Sekope Kepu, David Lyons, Alfi Mafi, Ben Mowen, Dean Mumm, Sam Norton-Knight, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Beau Robinson, Benn Robinson, Brett Sheehan, Timana Tahu, Jeremy Tilse, Lote Tuqiri, Lachie Turner, Josh Valentine, Daniel Vickerman


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