Tuitavake becomes a Saint

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 11:57
Large nafi tuitavake crusaders tackled 800

NEWS: Tongan international Nafi Tuitavake will make the trip across the English Channel after putting pen to paper with Northampton Saints.

Tuitavake has been plying his trade at French club Narbonne for a year since moving from his native New Zealand. Tuitavake was a regular for the Crusaders in Super Rugby for two years and North Harbour in the ITM Cup for close to a decade.

He formed part of the 2009 Junior World Championship-winning team that included the likes of Ken Pisi, Aaron Cruden and Zac Guildford.

The 27-year-old will add a physical presence to the Saints backline, allied to pace and skill that saw him represent New Zealand Sevens in the World Sevens Series.

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that he is looking forward to seeing Tuitavake perform in black, green and gold.

"We have been really impressed with what we have seen of Nafi. He has performed on lots of big stages from Super Rugby and New Zealand Sevens to international rugby and we think his ability and experience from these will further enhance our squad.

"He is an exciting talent who has all the attributes to be a success here and we look forward to welcoming him to Northampton," Mallinder said.

Tuitavake stated that joining a world-renowned club was something he could not resist.

"I have really enjoyed my time at Narbonne but the opportunity to join Northampton was one I could not resist. They are a world-renowned club with some amazing players and I can't wait to get started.

"I know Ace Tuala very well and Ken Pisi from our time at North Harbour and they have nothing but good things to say about Saints. I am very grateful to Narbonne president Bernard Archilla for allowing me to take this opportunity and look forward to meeting my new teammates," Tuitavake said.


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