Valenese “Nese” Malifa, Assistant Coach
Born in American Samoa, Malifa grew up in Samoa. 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.
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.
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.”