Andrew Makalio extends Crusaders stay
Cape Town - Crusaders hooker Andrew Makalio has re-committed to the club
for the 2019 Super Rugby season by signing a new contract at the Christchurch
Makalio said that, in just his second season with the
Crusaders, it was an easy decision to sign on for a third.
“The start of my professional rugby career has moved quite
fast, and I never would have believed that after my first season with Tasman
I’d be representing the Crusaders the following year," said Makalio.
“It’s a huge honour to be a part of this team and I’m
incredibly grateful for the opportunities I‘ve had to wear the jersey. I’m
happy with the progress I have made in developing my game and in the end, the
decision to continue here with this group of players and a really engaging
coaching group, was easy to make."
Born in Auckland, Makalio played representative rugby for
Auckland from under-15s level through to Auckland B. He made the move south to
link up with the Harlequins club in Blenheim, and went on to make his
provincial debut for Tasman in 2016.
The 26-year-old played in all 12 games that season,
including the Premiership Final against Canterbury. Three days after that
match, Makalio was named in the Crusaders squad for 2017 and earned his first Super
Rugby cap in round eight of the side’s Championship-winning season.
In May last year, Makalio was selected to represent the New
Zealand Provincial Barbarians side who faced the British and Irish Lions in an
historic match in Whangarei during their tour to New Zealand. The powerful
front-rower has played six games so far this season for the Crusaders and
scored two tries including a double in the Crusaders’ 55-10 win over the Rebels
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson said Makalio was continuing
to evolve his role as a Super Rugby player:
“Andrew is a really dynamic hooker - he’s big and strong but
also really mobile around the park. He’s had two strong Mitre 10 Cup campaigns
with the Tasman Mako and has established himself as an integral member of their
front row," Robertson said.
“Drew’s getting more and more opportunities with the
Crusaders this season and has shown already that he’s better for the increased
game time at this level. He’s a massive contributor to our team culture and we
know there is still plenty of potential to unlock in the big man, so we’re
excited to have him re-commit to our group through 2019."