Neria Fomai rugby player
Neria Fomai rugby player

Neria Foma'i

3rd Feb 1992 1.80m/98kg Inside Centre

Neria Fomai, born on February 3, 1992, is a professional rugby union player from New Zealand. He currently plays as a centre or wing for Hawke's Bay in New Zealand's National Provincial Championship (NPC) and for Moana Pasifika in Super Rugby. Although born and raised in New Zealand, Fomai is eligible to represent Manu Samoa, the national team of Samoa, due to his Samoan heritage.

Fomai's older brother, Tivaini Fomai, is a former Manu Samoa and Hawke's Bay loose forward. Neria Fomai was born in Auckland but later moved with his family to Hastings in Hawke's Bay, where he attended Hastings Boys' High School.

After leaving high school, Fomai played club rugby for Hastings Rugby & Sports Club in the Hawke's Bay club rugby competition. In 2016, he was named the Club Rugby Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of his brother Tivaini, who won the same award ten years earlier.

In 2016, Fomai represented the Hawke's Bay Saracens, the development team of the Hawke's Bay NPC team, and the Hawke's Bay Samoans team. He also played for the Hawke's Bay Sevens team and served as their captain during the 2016-2017 season.

In July 2017, Fomai joined Southland for the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup season. He made his debut for the team in August 2017 but had to leave the field early due to a head injury. He returned from injury and earned his first start for Southland in a Ranfurly Shield game against Canterbury, where he scored his first NPC try. He played a total of eight games for Southland that season.

In 2019, Fomai was named in the Hawke's Bay squad for the Mitre 10 Cup season and made his debut for the team. He scored a hat-trick in his first start for Hawke's Bay and has since been a regular starter for the province.

While not included in any Super Rugby squad, Fomai's strong performances in the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup earned him recognition. He signed a short-term contract with the Blues as injury cover for the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season and later joined the Highlanders as injury cover for the 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition, although he did not play in any matches.

In October 2021, Fomai signed with Moana Pasifika, a new Super Rugby franchise, for their inaugural season. He made his Super Rugby debut for the team in March 2022 and scored his first try in the competition against the Chiefs.

Fomai has also represented Samoa in international rugby. He initially played for the Samoa Sevens team in tournaments during the 2012-13 IRB Sevens World Series and returned to the squad in 2017. He played in various sevens tournaments for Samoa, including the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens and 2018 Commonwealth Games, and scored 65 points in 60 matches. In May 2021, Fomai was named in the Manu Samoa (fifteen-a-side) squad for the first time and made his debut for Samoa against the Māori All Blacks, scoring a try in his debut match.

Ahead of the World Rugby Cup 2023, Foma'i has been named in the squad for Samoa.



Untitled (2) Hawke's Bay
Inside Centre
2019 - present
samoa-rugby-logo Samoa
Inside Centre
2021 - present
Moana Pasifika Rugby Logo Moana Pasifika Rugby
Inside Centre
2022 - present
Inside Centre
2017 - 2017
auckland-blues Blues
Inside Centre
2021 - 2021
samoa-rugby-logo Samoa 7's
Inside Centre