The NSW Waratahs have bolstered their second-row stocks with a mixture of youth and experience with the signing of Taleni Seu, Zac Von Appen, and Zane Marolt ahead of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season.
Seu, born and raised in Auckland and schooled at Onehunga High School, was part of the Blues academy before moving to the Chiefs where he made his Super Rugby debut in 2016 under current Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.
The New Zealand-born lock spent four seasons and amassed 44 caps with the Chiefs before moving abroad to join his current side Toyota Industries Shuttles in Japan Rugby League One. Seu, who cuts an imposing figure at 201cm and 119kgs and adds significant size to Darren Coleman’s forward pack, is excited to play Super Rugby again.
“I am excited to join the Waratahs for the 2023 season. After having a chat with Darren Coleman, I can see what his vision is for the group and how he wants to build on a good 2022 season. The team sounds like a tight group, and I can’t wait to get to work,” Seu said.
“After being in Japan, I’m looking forward to getting back into the competitiveness of Super Rugby, while developing my game under some quality coaches.
“My wife and I have family in Sydney, so it’s going to be a good fit and we are really looking forward to our move later in the year.”
Zac Von Appen who joins the side on a wider training squad contract graduated through St Augustine’s College and has made a big contribution to Sydney University’s run to the Shute Shield Grand Final.
Von Appen comes from a high-performance background after representing Australia in rowing at the U23 World Championships, while his father Mario von Appen won an Olympic gold medal as a kayaker with Germany at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and his mother represented Australia at the World Championships, also as a kayaker.
“It’s a real privilege for me to join the Waratahs program, and something that I don’t take for granted,” Von Appen said.
“During my time rowing, I would train twice a day, six times a week, and worked at a bottle shop to support myself.
“To be able to join the program on a full-time basis and dedicate myself to the team I’ve supported since I was a kid is incredibly special to myself and my family. I cannot wait to get stuck in.”
Zane Marolt, born and raised in Queanbeyan, is a product of St Edmonds College and currently plays his club rugby for Queanbeyan Whites.
The 22-year-old lock also joins the team on a wider training contract after spending the past four years in the Brumbies Academy.
The 202cm lock is no stranger to the Waratahs coaching staff, as he was selected in Jason Gilmore’s Australian U20 side in 2020 and featured for the Brumbies Runners against the Waratahs A side earlier this season.
"I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to join the Waratahs,” Marolt said.
“The team is trending in the right direction, and I feel this is the best place for my development as a player.
“I can’t wait to get started, work hard, and push my case to hopefully make my Super Rugby debut in 2023.”
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was pleased with the mixture of youth and experience the trio brings to the squad.
“We needed to bolster our second-row stocks in the squad, and I’m really excited with the balance we have achieved with the arrival of these three recruits”, Coleman said.
“Taleni will help us with our short-term needs with his experience, size, and physicality while with Zane and Zac, we are keeping one eye on the future as they are a couple of good long-term prospects.
“We feel all three will make a great contribution to our squad ahead of our 2023 Super Rugby campaign.”