ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Mar 9, 2022

WATCH: 42 year old coach makes playing return to make history in MLR

Orene Ai’i became the oldest player in MLR history last weekend.

ADVERTISEMENT

Skills coach for the LA Giltinis, Orene Ai’i was forced to come out of retirement to start at outhalf for the Giltinis last Saturday. In round 6 of the 2022 season the Giltinis were heading down to Texas to face the Austin Gilgronis and during the warmup they found themselves without a number 10.

Starting fly half Luke Burton sustained an injury during the warm up and the Giltinis called upon assistant backs coach and skills coach Orene Ai’i to take the reigns. The Giltinis were also without the services of Matt Giteau for this clash.

Ai’i represented New Zealand at school level and u19 age grade. At age 19 he signed with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and then later went on to have success with the Auckland Blues. Ai’i played 31 times for the Blues from 2000 till 2004 winning the title in 2003.

Orene Ai’i represented New Zealand 7s and was named World 7s player of the year in 2005. Ai’i had stints in Japan with the Toyota Verblitz in 2005-07 and played for Toulon 41 times from 2008/09.

Ai’i moved to the US in 2015 and played with clubs such as Life West, San Francisco Rush and Fresno RFC. 2015 would have been his last playing season since moving onto coaching.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ai’i was added as a skills coach by the Giltinis for their inaugural season in the league in 2021. The Giltinis went onto dominate the league, losing only 4 times and winning the championship. LA boosted big names such as Matt Giteau, DTH van der Merwe and Adam Ashley Cooper in their squad.

Ai’i played 65 minutes in the Giltinis 22-9 loss away to the Gilgronis. However, the 42 year old kicked 3 penalties in the game, coming away with 9 points.

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 20 WEEKS AGO

    Gatland Returning To Test Rugby

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    USA Rugby World Cup Hosts

  • 24 WEEKS AGO

    Nonu Epic Offload MLR



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Jero De La Fuente pulls Hamstring and uses it to score incredible try

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Waisale Serevi: The greatest sevens player ever

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    David Campese: The Aussie all time great

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    The man who once raced a Cheetah: Bryan Habana

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Stormers Number Eight Evan Roos See's Yellow For Silly Incident

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Controversial Etzebeth Incident Still Being Debated

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Juan Imhoff Takes Full Power Frans Steyn Kick To The Face

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Springbok Fans Left Reeling At Officiating Despite Convincing Win

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Bundee Aki Shown Red Following Ludicrous Challenge

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Harlequins fans furious at refereeing decision that gives Exeter the win

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Worcester name 41-year-old academy coach in tonight's premiership cup clash

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy refereeing decision leads to All Blacks win

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Speculation rife after apparent handshake snub in All Blacks coaching box

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Rassie Erasmus Makes His Return To Rugby Stadiums

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Blue Bulls Chris Smit Knocks Himself Out Whilst Scoring

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    John Smit Shares Epic Bakkies Botha Story Highlighting Why Opponents Feared Him

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Heart-warming drop goal competition between Foster and Reece goes viral

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Streaker Tries To Distract Sharp Shooting Goal Kicker

View All

Amateur

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Club House Antics Shows Rugby Spirit

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

View All

Player Features

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    England winger returns from injury to make premiership debut for Leicester

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Bundee Aki faces huge ban following sending off

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Joe Simmonds addresses lack of form in honest interview

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby great Eddie Butler sadly passes away

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Graham Rowntree reacts to missing out on 2003 world cup in fascinating video

View All