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'A player that gets fans out of seats': Scarlets sign Vaea Fifita

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

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Scarlets have confirmed the signing of former All Blacks forward Vaea Fifita from Wasps. The 29-year-old, who can play at lock and back row, will make the switch from Gallagher Premiership to the United Rugby Championship in the summer as the reduced salary cap begins to bite in England. 

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The Tongan born and raised Fifta, who earned eleven Test caps for the All Blacks after he moved to New Zealand as a teenager on a scholarship, will link up with his former Hurricanes teammates Sam Lousi and Blade Thomson at Parc y Scarlets. Fifita and Thomson were colleagues in the 2016 Super Rugby title win. 

Described by Wasps as a proper athlete, Fifita said: “My family and I cannot wait to be a part of the West Wales community. I will be working hard to achieve the ambitious goals that the club has set for the future. I have confidence that this group can bring pride and success to the people of the region. I look forward to meeting you all for the first time at Parc y Scarlets.”

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Ruan Pienaar talks United Rugby Championship
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Ruan Pienaar talks United Rugby Championship

Scarlets boss Dwayne Peel added: “We have signed a world-class player in Vaea and this is a real statement of our intent and ambition as a club. Vaea is a superb athlete, an X-factor player with the all-round skill set that fits with how we are looking to play at the Scarlets.

“He also brings a lot of experience at international and Super Rugby level and as well as adding Test-match quality to our pool of second rows, that experience will be invaluable to the young forwards that are coming through at the club.

“Vaea is the kind of player that gets fans out of their seats and it is hugely exciting that he will be pulling on the Scarlets jersey next season. I’m sure Scarlets fans will enjoy watching him and we can’t wait to welcome him to Parc y Scarlets in the summer.”

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Scarlets general manager Jon Daniels said: “We identified early in our recruitment cycle that a world-class lock was vital to our performance as well as supporting the development of the quality young second rows we have here at Scarlets. Vaea has been top of our list of targets for quite some time.”

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