Orene Ai’i, Skills & Academy Coach

Orene Ai’i has a strong and instant connection to rugby in Los Angeles on top of his own impressive resume as a player with teams in New Zealand.  

The Samoan-born Ai’i was a skillful cog in the Blues’ Super Rugby championship in 2003 and a masterful playmaker and attacker in NZ sevens sides. He was named the International Rugby Board’s World Sevens Player of the Year after the 2004-05 season.  

He has immersed himself in Californian rugby in recent years, as a professional player with the San Francisco Rush in the single season of PRO Rugby (2016), as a club player and as a coach.    

His shrewd eye for talent helped identify some of the local Californian talent for the Giltinis roster.  

He will help develop skills across the squad and play a vital role in coaching rookies and rising young players in the Giltinis’ Academy.   

“Having been in the US and California for a long time, I have a passion for the game at all levels, from the pros to club (amateur), as well as the junior and youth programs,” Ai’i said.  

“It’s important for us to be as much a part of the LA rugby community and clubs as we hope they are with the Giltinis.”  

Position Skills and Academy Coach
Age 41
Hometown Apia, Samoa
Professional Clubs Blues, Hurricanes, Auckland, Northland (New Zealand), Toulon (France), Toyota Verblitz (Japan), San Francisco Rush
International Teams Samoa Sevens, New Zealand Sevens