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Naiyaravoro signs Glasgow deal

Published 18/05/2015

Fijian winger Taqele Naiyaravoro will join Glasgow this summer
Fijian winger Taqele Naiyaravoro will join Glasgow this summer

Glasgow Warriors have signed Fijian winger Taqele Naiyaravoro from Super Rugby champions New South Wales Waratahs on a three-year deal.

The 6ft 5in former rugby league player, who weighs 19 stone, has impressed Scotstoun head coach Gregor Townsend since swapping codes last year.

Naiyaravoro, who can play on the wing or at centre, will join the Warriors at the end of the current Super Rugby season, subject to obtaining a visa and passing a medical.

The uncapped 23-year-old - previously compared to former New Zealand star Jonah Lomu - had been tipped to move to Edinburgh but has now decided to try his luck with their Guinness Pro12 rivals along the M8.

With his international status still undecided, he may become an option for Scotland if he stays long enough to qualify through residency rules.

Naiyaravoro said: "Glasgow have been talking to me for a while and opened the door for me, so I'm happy to have signed a long-term contract with the club. I'm looking forward to moving to Glasgow with my family to continue my development.

"They are a strong team and it's really exciting to get the opportunity to move over there and play my rugby in Scotland next season.

"It's been great playing with the likes of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Kurtley Beale at the Waratahs this season. They've been really helpful and I've learnt a lot from them.

"It will be a new challenge for me to play in the Pro12 and compete against the best sides in Europe in the Champions Cup."

Naiyaravoro has played 15 times for the Waratahs since joining last May, notching up six tries in the process.

Born in Suva, he played union all through his school days in Fiji before being spotted by scouts from New Zealand at the age of just 19.

He was recruited by Australian National Rugby League side Wests Tigers in 2012 and was a prolific try-scorer for their NSW Cup team the Balmain Tigers. But after registering 23 scores from just 15 games he made his return to union as he signed for the Waratahs.

"Taqele is a very exciting signing for our club," said Townsend.

"We've been tracking him for a number of months and we know there has been a lot of speculation about his future, so we're delighted that we can finally announce that he will become a Glasgow Warriors player in the summer.

"Taqele has made a real impact since joining the Waratahs last season and has the potential to become one of the best wingers in the Pro12.

"His sheer size and strength will give us another option in our back line and I'm sure he will be an excellent addition to our squad.

"He has a great attitude and desire to work and improve and we'd like to thank Scottish Rugby for their support in securing a player of Taqele's quality.

"We look forward to him joining us at the end of the season and we know he'll be with us regardless of any international commitments."

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