CONNACHT HAVE ANNOUNCED the signing of Fijian international back row Naulia Dawai on a two-year contract.
The 29-year-old has spent the past three years playing Mitre 10 Cup rugby for Otago in New Zealand, having previously featured for Southland. The energetic Dawai has been in particularly impressive form this season, scoring five tries in Otago’s campaign.
He made his Test debut for Fiji earlier this year, winning caps against Samoa, Tonga and Japan.
“Naulia is an exciting addition to the Connacht Rugby squad as he brings X-factor to our hard-working forward pack,” said Connacht head coach Pat Lam of the new signing.
He can play across the back row, which is a great boost to our options up front and also provides vital depth and competition in those positions.
“We were really impressed with the rugby Naulia’s been playing in the NPC and also with the Fiji national side during the summer. When Otago Head coach and good friend Cory Brown [a former coach at Connacht] confirmed to me Naulia’s work ethic and ability on and off the field, we were very pleased to secure him for Connacht Rugby.
“We’re all looking forward to welcoming Naulia and his family to Connacht in the next few weeks and bringing him up to speed on everything on and off the pitch.”Source: hayden croft/YouTube
Dawai, who originally moved to New Zealand in 2011, expressed his pleasure at securing a contract with Connacht:
“I’m extremely excited to get to Ireland and take up this wonderful opportunity with Connacht Rugby,” said Dawai. “It will be my first time in Ireland and indeed Europe but it’s a challenge I am really looking forward to.
From speaking to Pat and watching the Connacht games, I am excited by the type of rugby being played and I hope I can come over and add something as well.
“I’d like to thank all the coaches at Otago and particularly Cory (Brown). I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity for myself and my family.”
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