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Leicester Tigers sign Hosea Saumaki

By Sam Smith

Trending on RugbyPass

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Leicester Tigers have signed Tongan international Hosea Saumaki from the Canon Eagles in Japan.

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The outside-back will join Tigers ahead of the 2021/22 season after five seasons in Japan, including three seasons representing the Sunwolves in Super Rugby.

“Hosea is an exciting signing for the club,” said Leicester Tigers head Steve Borthwick. “He is a strong, physical and fast outside-back who has shown himself to be a prolific try-scorer in his career-to-date.”

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Saumaki (6’2, 100kg) is is Borthwick’s 13th addition ahead of the 2021/22 campaign alongside fellow backs Freddie Burns, Bryce Hegarty, Dan Lancaster, Juan-Pablo Socino and forwards Dan Richardson, Eli Snyman, Marco Van Staden and Francois Van Wyk, as well as four graduates from the Leicester Tigers Academy.

“In our conversations with Hosea, we’ve been impressed by his desire to want to be a part of what we are building at Leicester Tigers and are looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”

In 2012, Saumaki represented Tonga at U20s level and on the international Sevens circuit. The Tongan-born back represented Daito Bunka University in Tokyo before joining Japanese Top League club Canon Eagles in 2017.

A prolific try-scorer, Saumaki finished his debut season in the Top League second on the competition’s try-scorers tally.

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The 29-year-old made his Test debut for Tonga against the All Blacks earlier this year, before adding two more international appearances in back-to-back appearances against Samoa in New Zealand.

Saumaki says he always wanted to play in the UK: “I’ve always wanted to play rugby in the United Kingdom and to get that opportunity at Leicester Tigers is a dream.

“Tigers have a big fan base, who are really supportive of the team and the boys and for me to be a part of that is really exciting.

“I want to get the ball in hand, keep the energy up and score some tries for Leicester; that’s what I like to do, give one-hundred percent for my team mates and the club.”

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Leicester Tigers sign Hosea Saumaki

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