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11 international imports who struggled to make an impact for the provinces

Kane Douglas isn’t the only one.
Jul 23rd 2015, 8:14 PM 14,513 25

Kane Douglas

Kane Douglas Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

One disappointing season into a three-year deal, the Aussie international lock was released by Leinster today after they received compensation – believed to be between €150,000 and €200,000 — from the Australian Rugby Union, with Douglas now expected to join Queensland Reds which will allow him to challenge for a place in the Wallabies’ World Cup squad.

Owen Finegan

Owen Finnegan with Nick MacLeod and Gareth Williams 16/9/2006 Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Another versatile Australian forward, the signing of Finegan from Newcastle Falcons in 2006 was a pretty good coup for Leinster at the time. Capped by the Wallabies 55 times and a winner of Super Rugby honours twice with the Brumbies, what could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turned out. Finegan’s one-year contract wasn’t renewed at the end of the season and the 35-year-old left for a brief spell with Leicester Tigers, after which he hung up his boots. A fine players when in his prime but, unfortunately for Leinster fans, that day had passed by the time Finegan was brought in by Michael Cheika.

Brian Lima

Brian Lima Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

There’s no arguing with Lima’s status as a legend of the game, but his time at Munster wasn’t the most memorable spell of his career. The Samoan, who’s the only man to have played at five World Cups, joined Munster in March 2005. However, after injuring his quad muscle in the build-up to the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Biarritz, he left two months later without playing a single game for the province.

Peter Borlase

Peter Borlase Source: James Crombie

The New Zealand-born prop was expected to beef up Munster’s front-row when he joined the province on a two-year deal in 2010, but things never really got going for the tighthead prop who arrived from Canterbury. He played seven times before being loaned to Connacht for a brief stint at the Sportsground. He then returned home in 2012 to play for Hawke’s Bay in the ITM Cup. Still only 30, Borlase is now a coach with the USA’s Under 20 team.

Joeli Veitayaki

Joeli Veitayaki and Bryan Shelbourne 28/11/1999 Source: Andrew Paton/INPHO

Veitayaki had just played for Fiji at the 1999 World Cup when he signed for the then-European champions. What Ulster fans remember from Veitayaki’s six-game spell with the province was that he was big and he was bad — but not in a good way.

David Pusey

David Pusey and Kieran Campbell Source: ©INPHO

Pusey arrived at Munster on a two-year deal in 2003 with a good reputation, having represented Australia at Schools and Under 21 level, as well as making 23 Super Rugby appearances for the Brumbies. He showed fleeting glimpses of promise during his 17 games for Munster but his time in Ireland was mostly a disappointment.


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Mils Muliaina

Mils Muliaina and Michael Tagicakibau Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Securing the services of an All Blacks legend last summer was a big deal for Connacht but, in spite of his quality and experience, Muliaina seldom delivered for Pat Lam’s side. The 34-year-old failed to score in nine appearances for Connacht and his time with the province ended on quite a sour note when he was arrested at Kingsholm in April after their defeat to Gloucester. Muliaina, who’ll play for Zebre next season, is subsequently due to appear in court in Cardiff on 7 August on a sexual assault charge.

Juan Gomez

Juan Gomez 20/12/2007 Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

An Argetine prop who had just made his international debut the year before, Leinster thought they were on to a winner when they signed Gomez from Stade Francais in 2007. Not quite. Gomez failed to adapt over the course of an eight-game spell and was soon shipped off to Leeds Carnegie.

Anton Pitout

Anton Pitout of Munster 27/12/2005 Source: ©INPHO

There was a bit of excitement around Anton Pitout when Munster signed the South African sevens international from the Cheetahs in 2005. That he lasted only five games is all you need to know.

Clint Newland

Clint Newland Source: James Crombie

The New Zealand Maori prop, who joined Leinster from the Highlanders, played 12 times for the province after he was brought in to plug an injury gap in 2010. Newland often struggled in the scrum and was sent packing after one season.

Lote Tuqiri

Lote Tuqiri 26/11/2013 Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Tuqiri arrived at Leinster on a short-term deal in 2013 with 67 Wallabies caps in his back pocket. Even at the age of 33, the Australian back was a significant acquisition. However, the dual international struggled with injuries and departed having made only five appearances.

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