Former USA Eagle Nese Malifa Joins Jackals Coaching Staff
The Dallas Jackals are excited to announce Valenese “Nese” Malifa has joined the Jackals coaching staff as Assistant Coach. The former USA Eagle fly half also has seven years of coaching experience including two seasons in the MLR.
Born in American Samoa, Malifa grew up in Samoa. Malifa participated in many sports including soccer, tennis, and cricket, going on to represent his home country in multiple sports. When he was 14 years old, he and his family moved to Auckland, New Zealand where he was first exposed to rugby. Malifa went on to be chosen to represent Auckland and Samoa while playing for Ponsonby and Eden Rugby Clubs.
During this time, Belmont Shore Rugby Club’s president Doug Pye saw Malifa’s continued growth and development and initiated his move to the United States in 2006. Within his first year playing rugby on the US mainland, Malifa won his 1st Super League title for Belmont Shore. Malifa also was named as a USA Eagle and was capped in the 2007 North America 4 competition.
On the international stage, Malifa has represented the USA in three Rugby World Cups (15’s & 7’s) in 2007, 2009 and 2011. In 2010, Malifa and his identical twin brother Ata Malifa moved to Denver, Colorado and helped the Glendale Raptors secure their very 1st National Championship.
Malifa began his coaching career in 2013 when he started shadowing Mike Friday, Head Coach of the USA 7’s team. This led to an opportunity for him to coach the USA Falcons in South America and Las Vegas. In 2015, Malifa joined the Tiger Rugby coaching team which allowed him to coach many teams and tournaments across the US including a D1 National Championship with the Life West Women’s team in Hayward, California.
Most recently, Malifa made his mark as Assistant Coach for fellow MLR team Rugby ATL. In the MLR offseason, he was the Head Coach of Rugby ATL’s Pathway 404 men’s team. Pathway 404 provides resources and opportunities for regional players and coaches to advance their skills and career.
Malifa is more eager than ever to wear the whistle again and help lead a team of talented players in 2021. Jackals Head Coach and Director of Rugby Allen Clarke said, “Valenese is a very promising young coach who has already acquired coaching experience at club and international levels. It was clear very quickly that our vision, of coaching and the style of play we wish to develop, are very much aligned. More importantly, he displays the quality people skills and characteristics we’ve prioritized in our recruitment of all players and staff. I’m delighted to welcome Valenese and his wife Olivia to the Jackals family.”
Over the years, Malifa has either played with or against many of the current Jackals squad. He said, “Working with them from a different perspective and being part of their development, not only as professional athletes but as ambassadors and young men, will be an honor.” Malifa is excited to move to Texas and help build the foundation of the Dallas Jackals heading into their inaugural MLR season. “Also looking forward to the good Texas BBQ,” he joked.
We are happy to welcome Nese Malifia and his wife Olivia to the pack!
About Dallas Jackals —
The Dallas Jackals are a professional rugby team of Major League Rugby (MLR), the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The Jackals were named as an expansion team in 2020 and will play their inaugural season in 2022 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The team’s central mission is to develop domestic talent to a world-class level of play and professionalism while strengthening the high performance pathway in DFW by supporting the local clubs. Through proactive Community Outreach, the Jackals will exemplify and spread the passion of rugby by inspiring tradition, respect, family, and character on and off the pitch.
About MLR —
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fourth season and represents the highest level of competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 12 teams in 2021, featuring 11 from the United States and one from Canada. The competition follows an 18-week regular schedule for a chance to advance to the playoffs. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, ESPN+, Facebook Live (for international viewers) and on different platforms in each local market. MLR prides itself on its incredible athletes, the passionate community behind them, and its strong values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition.
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