Fotuali'i to become a Saint
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 14:00
Northampton Saints have announced that Samoan scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali’i has signed on to wear the black, green and gold from the start of next season.
The 30-year-old, capped 13 times by Samoa, is out of contract in the summer and will make the move after rejecting an offer to remain at the Ospreys.
He has won rave reviews for his recent performances in the European Cup and is regarded by many commentators to be the best player in his position in world rugby.
In his two seasons at the Liberty Stadium the 6ft, 94kg Fotuali’i has played 39 times, including in the Pro 12 final success over Leinster last year and earning the man of the match award in the recent European Cup game against Leicester.
Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, Andrew Hore, said: "We are obviously disappointed to lose a player of Kahn’s quality.
"We made what we consider a very competitive offer to the player to retain his services, but unfortunately, he has advised us that his future lies elsewhere.
"We are sure that Kahn will continue to serve us well between now and the end of the season as we look to retain our RaboDirect PRO12 title," Hore added.
Fotuali’i has made 39 regional appearances for the Ospreys, scoring six tries and one drop-goal.
Born in Auckland, Fotuali’i had been tipped for full All Blacks honours after making his mark in Super Rugby for the Crusaders, for whom he played 28 times.
Instead Fotuali’i chose to represent Samoa, and after a man of the match performance in his 2010 debut he went on to play in the 2011 World Cup.
Fotuali'i was also instrumental in Samoa's phenomenal win against Wales at the Millenium Stadium during their year-end tour in 2012.
He has experience of playing both scrumhalf and flyhalf at international and provincial level.
That experience in both positions gives the Saints a number of extra options going forward and offers competition to first choice srumhalf Lee Dickson as well as back-up for flyhalves Stephen Myler and Ryan Lamb.
Director of Rugby at the Northampton Saints Jim Mallinder is excited by the signing.
"Kahn is a player who has attracted a lot of positive headlines and attention throughout his career.
"He has a superb set of skills and is a powerful and dynamic runner who will add to our options in one of the team’s crucial positions," he said.
Mallinder added: "We’re delighted that he has chosen to sign a long-term contract to play his rugby at Franklin’s Gardens, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the club in the summer."
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