McKee named for Moana Pasifika

Southland Stags player Mike McKee makes a tackle against Otago player Sio Tomkinson during last year's Mitre 10 Cup. Photo: File

SOUTHLAND lock Mike McKee has cracked Super Rugby.

McKee, who plays his club rugby for Eastern Barbarians, has been named in the Moana Pasifika team.

The 28-year-old first played for the Southland Stags in 2015 and has been a regular for the side since. He qualifies for the team through his mother Louisa, who comes from the Cook Islands.

McKee also played for Counties-Manukau in 2018 and played in Spain from 2019-20 although the season in Spain was cut short because of Covid-19.

McKee has played more than 40 games for Southland. It was feared he was going to miss this season for the Stags because of a knee injury but recovered in time. He played for Southland on Saturday in its close loss to Wellington but left the field because of a head injury.

McKee has never played for the Highlanders nor been part of the Super Rugby squad although he did play for the Asia Pacific Dragons in the short-lived Global Rugby competition.

McKee is a hard-working lock and is mobile around the park.

He actually started playing in the backs while boarding at Otago Boys’ High School before moving into the forwards in his later school years.

Moana Pasifika is coached by former Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger.