Rugby

Saints sign Fijian lock

2016-09-20 13:07
Api Ratuniyarawa (Getty Images)

London - Fijian international lock Api Ratuniyarawa is to take on the best in the English Premiership after signing for Northampton Saints, ending a four-year spell with French outfit Agen on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old - capped 19 times and a member of their 2015 World Cup squad - will make his mark in England, said Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

"Api is a strong, athletic, physical lock and he has the potential to make a big impact in the Premiership," said Mallinder of his new acquisition who stands 6ft 6in (1.98m) tall and weighs in at 112kg.

"He has plenty of experience, both at international level and in the challenging environment of French club rugby, and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do at Franklin's Gardens (Northampton's home)."

Ratuniyarawa, who made his international debut against England at Twickenham in 2012, said he had decided on the switch for both professional and personal reasons.

"I've enjoyed playing for Agen, which is a great club," he said.

"But now I'm looking forward to the next part of my career in England.

"It is a decision which I have made as much for my family as for myself, and I am grateful to Northampton's coaches for giving me the opportunity.

"I know from my Fiji team mate Campese Ma'afu that it is a great club and hopefully I can help the Saints achieve success in the Aviva Premiership."

Alain Tingaud, Agen's chairman of the board, said that the Fijian left on the best of terms.

"Api has been a good servant to Agen for the last three seasons and he has been a big part of our team," he said.

"We understand that it is his family's desire to live in an English-speaking country, which is why we have agreed to release him early from his contract, and Api leaves with our best wishes for success in England with Northampton."

Read more on:    fiji  |  rugby
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