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Three more important members of Alex Rae’s forward pack have confirmed they will be part of Cov’s 2024/25 Championship campaign.

British Army no.8 Senitiki Nayalo who is Cov’s second longest-serving current player extends his spell at the Butts Park Arena into a sixth season while exciting young lock Obinna Nkwocha and hooker Suva Ma’asi have also signed new deals.

Following quickly on the heels of the news that James Tyas, Tom Ball, Matt Kvesic and skipper Jordon Poole plus backs Ryan Hutler and Pat Pellegrini are to remain on board for another year, this provides another major boost for Cov and their supporters.

Nayalo arrived at Cov in 2019 on the back of impressive spells in the Premiership with London Irish and at Edinburgh in the Pro-14.

His powerful ball carrying has since made him an indispensable member of the blue-and-white line-up over the course of his 75 appearances.

The Fijian-born back-rower was chosen as man-of-the-match in the recent showpiece Army-Navy game at Twickenham.

Tiki Nayalo in action at Hartpury (image: John Coles)

Nkwocha is reported to have turned down offers from a number of Premiership clubs to continue his development under Rae and his coaching group.

The talented second row forward joined Cov after completing his time in Saracens’ academy and has since been a regular selection in the Championship’s team-of-the week.

Dynamic hooker Ma’asi extends his stay at the Butts Park Arena into a fifth season.

The fans’ favourite who recovered from a lengthy spell on the sidelines to make an impressive impact on the second half of the 2023/24 season made his landmark 50th appearance in blue and white during Cov’s recent win at Nottingham.

Rae said he is extremely happy to have kept these three important members of the squad for another season.

“Senitiki is a hugely popular person within the squad,” he said. He’s always got a smile on his face and is someone a lot of the younger players look up to. We’re delighted and lucky to have him with us, He’s playing some of his best rugby and can have a huge impact on matches again next season.

“Obinna staying is a real coup for the club and is testament to the rugby programme we have here. He had a lot of attention and offers but felt the best place for him to develop was here. He works hard every single day to improve and with that mindset I’ve no doubt he’ll have another hugely successful year. 

Suva Ma’asi during Cov’s recent home win over Cambridge (image: John Coles)

“It’s brilliant to have Suva with us again – he’s totally bought into what we’re about and really wears his heart on his sleeve when he’s out there playing. His work ethic is outstanding and that’s exactly the type of person we want around here.”

Ma’asi said signing a new deal to remain at the Butts Park Arena was an easy decision for him.

“I’m very happy to be part of this team for another year and can’t wait for the new season to start,” he said.

“This will be my fifth season at Cov and being part of such a tight-knit group has been very special.

“I have developed massively as a player during my time at Cov as I was quite a recent convert from centre to hooker when I arrived.

“With help from the coaches I’m still working on some technical things. I’m sure there’s more improvement to come and hope I can help the team continue to progress.”

More announcements will follow regarding the make-up of the 2024/25 squad.

Season memberships for 2024/25 are available via this link: