Latu Makaafi: Tonga international forward to leave Jersey

Latu Makaafi
Makaafi first signed for Jersey in 2006

Tonga international forward Latu Makaafi has left Jersey after one season with the Championship club.

The 32-year-old, is to return to the north of England for family reasons.

"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 has no wish to stand in his way."

Makaafi became Jersey's first professional player when he originally signed for the club in 2006 and spent two years in the island.

He went on to play for Hull, Wharfedale, Doncaster and Rotherham, whom he left to join Jersey last summer, and won his one and only Tonga cap against Fiji in a 2003 World Cup qualifier.

"We have agreed to release him from his contract so he can make the move with his wife and children," added Dempsey.

"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."

Makaafi made 20 appearances for Jersey last season, despite having suffered a broken jaw in the opening game against Plymouth Albion.

His last match for the island was the