New Zealand’s Lance Tongakilo signs with Stockholm Mean Machines in Sweden

Sweden’s Stockholm Mean Machines  have signed tight end/defensive end and New Zealand native Lance Tongakilo.

The 10-time Swedish champion Mean Machines reached the semifinals in Sweden in 2017.

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, the 6’3″, 245 lb 25 year old Tongakilo started playing American football at the age of 14 in New Zealand but has taken a long and winding journey to arrive in Sweden.

When he was young, his family moved from New Zealand to Australia, where he played both rugby and American football (Gold Coast Stingrays). But it was American football that was closest to his heart, and in order to improve, he found his way to the United States where he first played at Pasadena City College and then at Cerritos College. In 2014, he helped the Falcons reach the Golden State Bowl.

After playing at junior college, a couple of major schools showed interest including the University of Idaho. But for various reasons, Tongakilo went back home where he returned to the Gold Coast Stingrays. Still eager to play overseas he signed up with the Cannes Iron Mask in the French third division this past season. He led the team in touchdowns, receptions, sacks and forced fumbles in helping the Iron Mask reach the semifinals.

Tongakilo then headed back to Australia and the Stingrays and was a key  in the Stingrays march to another title when they won the 2017 Sunbowl defeating the Bayside Ravens 22-21 in early December.

Check out Lance Tongakilo’s 2017 highlights with the Cannes Iron Mask

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