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London Irish sign Api Ratuniyarawa

By Kim Ekin
Ratuniyarawa is literally ageless

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London Irish have confirmed the signing of powerful Fijian second row Api Ratuniyarawa from Northampton Saints.

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The 35-year-old lock will join Declan Kidney’s squad for pre-season ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Ratuniyarawa, who has made 130 appearances for Saints in his six seasons at Franklin’s Gardens, arrived in the Midlands from Agen in 2016 and went on to reach the Premiership semi-finals and win a Premiership Rugby Cup for Northampton.

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Andy Goode previews the EPCR 2022-23 season
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Andy Goode previews the EPCR 2022-23 season

The second-row forward, who stands 6 feet 6 inches and weighs 19 stone, has played for Saints in four Champions Cup competitions and was named the team’s breakout player of the season in 2017/18, his first complete season.

The Fijian made his debut for his country in 2012 against England in front of a Twickenham crowd. He went on to represent Fiji in the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups and has now gone on to represent his country on 38 different occasions.

DoR Kidney emphasised how Ratuniyarawa’s recognised Premiership and international experience will serve the Exiles squad well.

“Api is a very experienced player who we identified as a good fit for the team, and he will be an important member of the squad at London Irish next year.

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“He has many notable attributes we hope will aid us in furthering our results on the pitch and assist in the development of the younger members of this Club.”

Ratuniyarawa – who was born in Sigatoka – says he is delighted with his move to the Brentford Community Stadium next season.

“London Irish is a fantastic club, and I am aware that I am joining at a significant time in the team’s journey.

“I am really excited about taking this next step in my rugby career, and having played in Brentford already this year, I now can’t wait to pull on the green jersey and play in front of the London Irish fans.”

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