Worcester sign New Zealand lock

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 12:39
Large michael fatialofa hurricanes 2017 800

TRANSFER NEWS: Worcester Warriors have confirmed the signing of New Zealand lock Michael Fatialofa on a two-year deal from 2016 Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes.

The 25-year-old becomes Warriors’ ninth signing ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and will make the move to Sixways later this year, at the climax of New Zealand's National Provincial Cup season with Auckland.

Fatialofa burst onto the Super Rugby scene at the age of 23 as he played 15 games in his debut season for the Wellington-based Canes, helping them win the title.

Things started brightly for the big second row in the 2017 competition too, as he ran in two tries in seven appearances before an unfortunate knee injury ended his season, as the Canes went on to reach the Super Rugby semifinals.

On the domestic stage, Fatialofa played 36 times for Southland in New Zealand’s NPC Cup between 2011 and 2014 before moving back home to Auckland in 2015, where he has since made 19 appearances.

The giant forward has also represented New Zealand Schools and played for the Barbarians in their 31-31 draw with South Africa at Wembley in 2016.

Auckland-born Fatialofa said: "I'm very excited about making the move to England and testing myself in the Northern Hemisphere competitions.

"The Hurricanes are an amazing team and I'm 100 percent committed to giving everything I have to them this season, before arriving at Worcester and starting a new challenge."

Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons added: "Michael is an absolutely outstanding player and it's massive for the club to bring him here to Sixways.

"He will no doubt have a huge impact on the team and we look forward to welcoming him to the club following the NPC campaign later this year."

Warriors signings ahead of the 2018/19 season

Ashley Beck - Centre (Ospreys)
Callum Black - Prop (Ulster)
Cornell du Preez - Back row (Edinburgh)
Michael Fatialofa - Lock (Hurricanes)
Michael Heaney - Scrumhalf (Doncaster Knights)
Jono Lance - Flyhalf (Queensland Reds)
Isaac Miller - Hooker (London Scottish)
Scott van Breda - Full-back (Jersey Reds)
Francois Venter - Centre (Cheetahs)

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
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Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
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Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
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Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
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Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
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Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
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Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
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