Vereniki Goneva has bid farewell to the Gallagher Premiership ahead of his move to Stade Montois in France.
The Fijian announced last month that he will be joining the Pro D2 club, bringing his season with Harlequins to an end, as well as his eight years in England.
The 36-year-old joined Leicester Tigers in 2012 and won the Premiership in his first season, starting and scoring in the final against Northampton Saints. The following season he was named the Rugby Players Association players’ player of the year.
He made the move to Newcastle Falcons in 2016, but their relegation in the 2018/19 season signalled the end of his time at Kingston Park as he joined Harlequins.
As is the case with many other players, Goneva’s contract with the southwest London side would have expired recently, allowing him to head to the south of France in preparation for the beginning of their season in September.
With the curtain drawn on his career in England, Goneva shard this message on social media:
“Thankful and very Grateful for all the opportunities that was given to me, being able to display God-given talent with other great talented boys, great clubs, great coaches and supporters throughout my Time in Premiership rugby.”
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Thankful and very Grateful for all the opportunities that was given to me, being able to display God-given talent with other great talented boys, great clubs, great coaches and supporters through out my Time in Premiership rugby. @therpa_ @premrugby @leicestertigers @falconsrugby @harlequins Slowly winding down and now on to the next chapter. Next Stop @stademontoisrugby Vinaka Jisu #cherishedeverymoment
Having been absent at the beginning of the season while playing for Fiji at the Rugby World Cup, and after having the second half of the season severely disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Goneva’s time at the Stoop may not have been as glittering as his time at Leicester or Newcastle, but that was out of his control.
With a Test career that began in 2007, the 59-cap Fijian admitted that he is “slowly winding down”, but will still bring class to whomever he plays for; few players have dazzled the Premiership in the way he did, weaving through defences with the ball in one hand.
As things have transpired, Goneva’s last Harlequins performance was a 41-14 win over Saracens in January, but he finishes his time in England with 58 Premiership tries, 14th on the all-time list.
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