Departure of Latu Makaafi09/07/2014
Jersey Rugby Club have confirmed that Latu Makaafi has been released from his contract and will be leaving the Island.
The Tongan flanker was one of Jersey's first professional players in 2006, playing for the Island side in London Two South for two seasons and then returning in summer 2013, by which stage Jersey were playing four levels higher in the Greene King IPA Championship.
"Latu has been in discussion with us during the close season regarding his wife's wish to return to the north of England to be closer to her family," said Jersey Chairman Bill Dempsey. "His family is Latu's priority and the club have no wish to stand in his way - we have agreed to release him from his contract so he can make the move with his wife and children.
"We are disappointed to be losing one of our most experienced players - we'd like to thank Latu and wish him all the best for the future."
Latu, 31, made 20 competitive appearances for Jersey last season, in spite of sustaining a broken jaw in the opening game of the season against Plymouth Albion. His final appearances were in the crucial away win against Bedford in April, which secured Championship survival, and the Siam Cup victory against Guernsey on May 3rd.
The Jersey players are currently taking a few days' rest after the first month of pre-season training. The squad will resume their training schedule next week, in the build-up to the Championship season, which starts on September 6th with an away trip to Moseley. Ahead of this date, Jersey play three pre-season matches at St Peter:
- August 16th: Jersey v Ayr (4pm)
- August 23rd: Jersey v Bath (3pm)
- August 30th: Jersey v Blackheath (4pm)