Former West Coast champion Nic Naitanui and his partner Brittany Bown’s second child has arrived.
Taking to Instagram, the AFL great revealed his family had been blessed by the arrival of a baby girl called Zuri Ateca Naitanui.
Naitanui’s fiancé, Bown, is a well-known wellness columnist for STM in Western Australia, and a popular Pilates instructor.
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The couple shared a stunning photo of their growing family on Instagram, with Naitanui seated on the edge of a luxurious rocking chair, and a smiling Bown cradling Ezekiel and Zuri.
Naitanui’s caption was: “Zuri Ateca Naitanui” with a hashtag of “matavuvale”, which is Fijian for ‘family’.
Doting dad Nic Nat and his gorgeous family. Credit: Instagram
In a recent column for STM, Bown said she accidentally discovered she was pregnant after having dizzy spells when she was exercising.
That discovery came only five months after the arrival of the couple’s other child, Ezekiel (he was born last year in October).
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Her first pregnancy test was was a negative and Bown said she was relieved because she didn’t think she was ready for another child.
But a follow-up test was positive and Bown said she initially.
“My body was still recovering from carrying Ezekiel, and I was just getting the hang of being a mum,” she wrote.
Bown said her fears soon turned to joy, and that was helped by Naitanui.
“I went downstairs to tell Nic (that I was pregnant) and when he saw my tear-streaked face, he panicked, thinking I had received bad news. Tearfully, I blurted out, ‘I’ve got to tell you something — I’m pregnant again’,” she wrote.
“Thankfully, his reaction was relief; he was rather happy.”
The charismatic football player’s post was immediately flooded with messages of congratulations after he shared his latest baby news.
Brittany Bown in hospital with Zuri Ateca. Credit: Instagram
Among the messages were, “Soo happy you’re here Zuri girl!! 😍😍❤️❤️” from Liv Cripps, the wife of Naitanui’s former teammate, Jamie.
Another fan said: “Awww, so beautiful 💗Congratulations!”
While another said: “Congratulations to you both – love her name.”
Bec Judd, the high-profile wife of another West Coast great in Chris Judd, also sent her best wishes, as did Emily LeCras (the wife of retired Eagles champ, Mark LeCras), current GWS star Stephen Coniglio, and David Rodan (the former Richmond, Port Adelaide and Melbourne player who is also Fijian).
“Congratulations! Bula lewa Zuri,” Rodan said, which means “welcome baby girl”.
A pregnant Bown shows off her large baby bump not long before Zuri Ateca arrived. Credit: Instagram
Naitanui announced his retirement this year after battling a serious Achilles tendon injury.
He did not manage a game in 2023 after an injury-cruelled 2022 where he only appeared on eight occasions due to his troublesome knee.
It was a sad ending to a highly decorated 15-season AFL career that was littered with amazing highlights.
“I feel like I have exhausted every avenue to work my way through my injury, but my body is sending a strong message that it is time,” Naitanui said at the time.
“You never want this day to come, but it always does and I’m content in the knowledge that I have given it everything.
“Being a power athlete who has relied on my ability to jump throughout my career this injury was probably going to take that away from me.
“I am also looking at a lengthy rehabilitation from my latest surgery and there are no guarantees of making it back to AFL level even if everything goes to plan.”
Naitanui – a dynamic ruck – managed 213 games since his debut in 2009.
He is a three-time All-Australian and two-time best-and-fairest winner for the Eagles.
West Coast coach Adam Simpson called Naitanui “a legacy player” and “one of the most influential players of his generation”.
“In some respects it is the end of an era and we will certainly miss Nic. In the last couple of years when he has been limited in the amount of games he has played his impact around the group has remained significant,” he said.
“There have been few ruckmen in history to have a bigger impact on the game and he will always hold a special place in the history of the club.”
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