Moamoa Roosters captain and Manu Samoa lock Theodore McFarland has signed with Gallagher Premiership side Saracens.
Saracens are one of the world’s top rugby clubs, based in North London. The side is captained by England first-five Owen Farrell and is the home to many England internationals like Maro Itoje and Vunipola brothers Mako and Billy.
McFarland has played two tests for Manu Samoa in his international career, both were victories over Tonga in July of this year.
McFarland’s path to rugby was not one taken by most. Theodore is a double international and first represented Samoa in basketball, including the South Pacific Games in 2019.
The 115kg, 6ft 6” lock forward eventually had to choose between rugby and basketball and chose rugby. The rest is history, and the beginning of his journey as a professional rugby player.
Theodore plays his rugby in Samoa with local club SSAB Moamoa Roosters, and for the national provincial PPS Super 9 competition he played the 2019 season with the Savaii Vikings before shifting to basketball that year to represent Samoa in the Pacific Games.
SSAB Moamoa Head Coach Gus Slade said he was also one of the key players for their Taula All Stars side, where Moamoa joined forces with Vaimoso and Alamagoto.
“Theodore is one of those solid players that can motivate and inspire players because he shows good leadership both on and off the field,” said Slade. “He stood out during the 2020 Taula All Stars tournament and earned himself the MVP of the tournament that year. We wish him all the best as he moves on to the next level of his rugby,” said Coach Slade.
SSAB Manager Muliagatele James Ah Wai said Theodore was a gifted but humble and down-to-earth person who has done a lot to boost the morale of the Moamoa Roosters during his time with the local club.
“He was captain of the Senior Team for three years in a row. We are very proud of his achievement and he has especially proven that it does not matter which club you play, what matters is your discipline, attitude, commitment and hard work”.
McFarland was selected by then Manuma Coach Muliagatele Brian Lima in 2020, and made his presence known for during the Global Rapid Rugby campaign. Off the back of this performance McFarland signed with Major League Rugby side the Dallas Jackals in America, but the global pandemic put a halt to that opportunity.
Again through representing the Roosters at the Marist International 7s, Theodore was then selected into the Manu Samoa 7’s squad by Head Coach Brian Lima, looking to develop a power-forward to replace the unfilled void left by the likes of Simaika Miakele. Just before the recent 7s Olympic qualifiers McFarland had to make a career decision when he was also named in the Manu Samoa 15’s by Head Coach Maposua Seilala Maposua, also looking to qualify Samoa for the Rugby World Cup at the time.
The decision by 25 year old McFarland to concentrate on 15’s has now led to the start of his professional rugby career in Europe.
Saracens have announced the Samoan international’s signing and say they are excited for McFarland joining the club. Theodore acknowledges it is an opportunity that not everyone gets and will make the most of it.
“When I heard I was gonna join the Saracens I was buzzing. It’s a huge honour to be looked at by one of the top rugby clubs in the world. Not everyone gets a chance to play for a club like Saracens. I can’t wait to join the pack and be part of the Sarries family.”
According to Saracens they have secured the Samoan International on a long-term deal however the details of that deal have yet to be announced.
Mark McCall, Director of Rugby at Saracens has acknowledged how talented Theodore is and will look unleash a lot more of his potential.
“We are excited to watch Theo develop here at Saracens. He is clearly a very talented athlete and we will look to unlock his potential during what we hope will be a very successful period for him.”
God bless your new journey Theo, and may His hedge of protection cover you always.