Rugby

Muliaina signs for Connacht

2014-05-05 16:35
Mils Muliaina (Gallo)

London - Former All Black stalwart Mils Muliaina has signed for Connacht for next season, the Irish province announced on Monday.

The 33-year-old fullback, capped 100 times by New Zealand, has signed a one-year contract with the Irish club to become the first ever All Black to play with Connacht.

Samoan-born Muliaina, who is currently in his second stint with the Waikato-based Chiefs, will link up with head coach Pat Lam whom he played under at Auckland from 2004/05 and with the Asia Pacific Barbarians in 2012.

Muliaina, Connacht said, "has been signed as a player-mentor where his invaluable experience will assist in the development of the young Irish talent at the club".

His Super Rugby playing career includes spells at Blues and the Chiefs, where he returned this year after two seasons playing in Japan.

Having played six games for the defending Super Rugby champions this year, the veteran back has opted to undergo surgery on a niggling elbow injury and is in line to return to match fitness prior to his arrival in Galway.

"I don't think I need to point out how huge it is to have Mils Muliaina as our first All Black coming to represent Connacht," said Lam.

"The second ever All Black and the first ever back to reach 100 Test matches is some achievement but what's incredible about Mils is the passion and professionalism he brings whenever he plays and I know he will bring that in the Connacht jersey.

"At the age of 33, he still has that hunger to play competitive rugby and before his surgery last month, he showed his quality and ability to keep playing at the top level in Super Rugby."

Muliaina added: "This is an exciting time for me, making the move to Connacht Rugby.

"I have a good understanding about my role and what is expected of me at Connacht. I've heard a lot about the talented young backs at the club - guys like Robbie Henshaw - and I'm keen to help anywhere I can, both on and off the field."

He added: "Right now I'm fully focused on my recovery and getting myself ready to hit the ground running when I arrive in Ireland."

Read more on:    mils muliaina  |  rugby
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