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Racing 92 swoop for 6'8, 130kg Veikoso Poloniati - report

By Ian Cameron
Veikoso Poloniati of Moana Pasifika is tackled during the round 11 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Moana Pasifika at AAMI Park on April 30, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

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Racing 92 seems to have apparently successfully lured another massive body to Paris, in the shape of New Zealand born second row Veikoso Poloniati.

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According to Midi Olympique, the 6’8, 130kg giant is set to pen a two year deal to join the Parisians. Poloniati has just come off season playing in the inaugrual Super Rugby Pacific competition for Moana Pasifika.

Prior to Moana Pasifika, Poloniati played for Manawatu. He is yet to be capped by Tonga, but has been named in the squad for the PNC. Should he join Racing he will link up with the likes of Namibian Anton Bresler and French internationals Boris Palu and Baptiste Pesenti in the second row. Veteran lock Yoann Maestri is retiring.

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According to Midi, Toulouse were also looking at him as a potential replacement for 6’10, 120kg  Wallaby Rory Arnold, who is off to Japan.

If he does move, his will be the latest in the continuing fashion for signing outsized southern hemisphere second rows for the Top 14. Toulouse have had great success with 6’8, 145kg Emmanuel Meafou, who was overlooked by Super Rugby’s Melbourne Rebels, while South African born Paul Willemse is arguably the league’s premier second row.

Will Skelton (6’8, 145kg), who had fallen out of favour with Wallaby selectors, has also been pulling up trees since moving to Europe with Saracens and latterly La Rochelle.

All follow in the footsteps of mammoth French internationals Romain Taofifénua and Sebastien Vahaamahina before them.

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