Kepu, who joined the Moana Pasifika franchise in October after featuring in England for London Irish, was named as captain on Wednesday.
“First and foremost would like to thank our heavenly father for this wonderful opportunity and for blessing us. There is an indescribable bond of brotherhood in this special team even though we have been together for only a short couple of months at most,” he said in a statement.
“Coming back to New Zealand I never thought I would play rugby again. 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.
“From the bottom of my heart, on behalf of my family, my wife, my village, I want to thank Aaron and the management team, and the team for the support and for allowing me to lead them into battle as the first ever Moana Pasifika team.
“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.”