Billy Stickland/INPHO Malakai Fekitoa in action during New Zealand's victory over Ireland in Dublin in 2016.

Munster confirm signing of Malakai Fekitoa

The former All Black centre, now a Tonga international, will join from Wasps on a two-year deal from next season.

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED the signing of centre Malakai Fekitoa from Wasps on a two-year contract beginning next season.

The former All Black is expected to become de facto replacement for Springbok Damian de Allende, whose departure from the southern province at the end of this season is yet to be officially confirmed.

Fekitoa, 29, won a Rugby World Cup with New Zealand in 2015 and, in all, scored eight tries for the All Blacks between 2014 and 2017, including two in their victory over Ireland at Lansdowne Road in November 2016.

A Super Rugby champion with the Highlanders in 2015, Fekitoa departed for Toulon two years later. He spent two years in France and was part of the Toulon side defeated by Munster in the memorable 2018 Champions Cup quarter-final at Thomond Park.

Fekitoa joined Wasps in 2019 and though he missed both Champions Cup encounters between his present and future employers this season through injury, he made an impressive return for the Coventry-based club in their victory over Saracens on Sunday.

Born and raised in Ha’apai, Tonga, Fekitoa moved to Auckland as a teenager when he earned a scholarship at Wesley College thanks to his performances for the Tonga Sevens underage sides.

He made his All Blacks debut against England as a 22-year-old but, seven years on, he represents the country of his birth at international level.

Fekitoa is currently raising funds to help those in his homeland affected by the tsunami which hit Tonga last month.

Wasps have also confirmed that former Leinster out-half Jimmy Gopperth is set to depart the club at the end of this season. The 38-year-old has in recent days been linked with a move to Leicester Tigers.

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