Coup for Wasps as they bring in ex-All Blacks forward Fifita
Wasps have signed former All Blacks lock and flanker Vaea Fifita, the 29-year-old who won the last of his eleven Test caps in the July 2019 Championship match versus the Springboks in Wellington. The 6ft 5in, 111kg Tongan-born player, who moved to New Zealand for school, was a Super Rugby title winner in 2016 for the Hurricanes alongside current Wasps players Brad Shields and Jeff Toomaga-Allen.
A try-scorer against the touring Lions in 2017 for his club, he debuted that same year for the All Blacks off the bench versus Samoa and his first start is remembered for how he sprinted in from 40 metres out to score.
He out-ran Argentine backs Santiago Cordero and Joaquin Tuculet in a man of the match performance. He had re-signed last October for another year at the Hurricanes but will now leave the Wellington-based franchise.
Wasps boss Lee Blackett said: “We have been looking for a quality lock and back-rower and Vaea fits the bill perfectly.
“We are therefore delighted to be able to bring an experienced international forward like him on board for next season. We are all excited to work with him and the strong group of forwards we have at the club for next season.”
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) June 30, 2021
Fifita added: “I’m proud to be joining one of the most historic rugby clubs in the world. I can’t wait to get started on what promises to be a very exciting journey with Wasps. I will be working hard to help the team achieve as much success as possible. My family and I look forward to experiencing everything that England has to offer.”
A player with immense speed for his size, Fifita should be invaluable at the lineout for Wasps as his impressive athleticism saw him make the most lineout steals (22) of any New Zealand player in Super Rugby since the beginning of 2016. He played more than 50 games for the Hurricanes, while also appearing for the Wellington Lions.
'Half my mates who have already retired say, ‘Don’t retire. Do as much as you can because it’s hard on the other side’
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 25, 2021
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