Sekope Kepu will never want to forget this special moment.
The Super Rugby Pacific preseason gets underway this week and some of the main talking points have been the new teams involved.
With the South African Super Rugby contingent making its way to the United Rugby Championship, the competition opened its doors to new teams.
Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika join the five Australian and five New Zealand teams for the 2022 rendition of the tournament. The two teams represent the various Pacific Islands.
Fijian Drua will be based out of Suva, the Fijian capital, but will play this season's games elsewhere due to complications associated with the pandemic.
Moana Pasifika is a broad representation of the likes of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands and will be hosting their games in Auckland, New Zealand.
Kepu's Emotional Unveiling
As Pasifika prepares for their Friday preseason game with the Chiefs, they had the important task of naming a captain for the upcoming season.
Seasoned prop Sekope Kepu was given the honour of leading the team this year. The former Wallaby was born to Tongan parents and grew up in Auckland.
EXCLUSIVE ACCESS 👀
Watch the moment Sekope Kepu found out he was going to lead Moana Pasifika for the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific season 🏉🌊
The moment was a complete surprise for him and the emotion was felt throughout the room 🧡💙
🎥: @skysportnz pic.twitter.com/91yaDrJXjv
— Moana Pasifika Rugby (@MoanaPasifika_) February 2, 2022
Kepu became the first Australian prop to reach 100 test caps in October of 2018. The former Waratahs man hasn't featured for the national team since 2019.
In an emotional captain's unveiling, Kepu was presented with native islander necklaces by his family, including a 'lolly lei' which consisted of chocolate bars.
The Moana Pasifika side have won a few fans over with this heartwarming moment and Kepu's teammates joined in on a sing-song after his speech.
The experienced prop spoke about what it was like to be given the honour. "Coming back to New Zealand I never thought I would play rugby again," he said.
"God works in mysterious ways, to be here and then called into the Moana Pasifika team, it was something I didn't think twice about."
"Being a new Captain is a blessing and honoured position and I'm truly humbled to hold it very close to my heart. Our people deserve this, it's up to us to inspire the next generation. Together, we are going to unearth something very special."