Juggernaut tighthead and crowd favourite Logovi’i Mulipola is set to leave Newcastle Falcons at the end of the current Premiership season, according to French media reports.
Midi Olympique are reporting that Mulipola signed on a two year deal with Grenoble in the ProD2. Currently sitting in ninth out of 16 on the league table, there is no guarantee that they will be playing Top 14 rugby next season.
Standing 6’4 and tipping the scales at 128kg (20 stone), Mulipola is an imposing ball-carrying prop who can play both sides of the scrum. The Samoan had signed for Gloucester on a short-term deal last July, before returning to Newcastle in time for this season’s Gallagher Premiership.
Speaking to RugbyPass recently, Mulipola explained why he took the short-term deal with Gloucester: “The whole idea of going to Gloucester was about me finding something to do during that lockdown from March. There was going to be eight months before we played our first Premiership game and I was like, ‘I might as well find a club because match fitness is so hard’.
“It was great to get a couple of games and train with Gloucester having also done some training with Leicester at their camp. When you don’t have games or full training then you are so bored sitting at home. I said to Dean I’m going to find some team to play for to get the fitness level up. I’m really thankful to Gloucester for the time there.
“If you haven’t been in a scrum for eight months you’re going to come back and be saying, ‘How do I do this again?’ You forget about everything.”
Capped 33 times by his country, including at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Mulipola has scored twice in over 35 appearances for the Falcons since signing from Leicester Tigers two years ago.
Making his Samoa debut in 2009 and playing in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the explosive front-rower missed his country’s 2015 campaign through injury but returned to become a regular for Leicester Tigers, where his massive upfield carries won the heart of the Welford Road faithful.
He is married to the sister of former Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni and has twin six-year-old boys.
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