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Edinburgh land Fiji star Kunavula

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'That bit of x-factor' - Edinburgh land Fiji Sevens star Kunavula

Edinburgh have completed the signing of Fijian Sevens star Mesulame Kunavula on a long-term deal.

Earlier this year he visited the Scottish club and had discussions over a move, before returning to complete the World Rugby Sevens Series. 

Kunavula, 22 – who can operate across the back-five and is equally adept at both flanker and lock – links up with his teammates immediately as they prepare for the 2019/20 season and joins directly from the Fijian Sevens squad.

On signing, Kunavula, said: “I’m delighted to start the next chapter of my career in Edinburgh. Viliame [Mata] is a good friend of mine and he has told me so much about the club and life in Scotland.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time on the Sevens circuit, but I felt it was the right time to move abroad and develop my own game further. The facilities in Edinburgh are world class and I’m only going to improve as a player.

“I’m really looking forward to getting involved in pre-season and representing this club for the years to come.”

Head Coach Richard Cockerill, added: “Mesu really stood out during his time representing Fiji on the Sevens circuit and his ability to beat a man, as well as offload in the tackle are really world class.

“We have been looking at adding players who offer something different – that bit of x-factor – and I certainly think Mesu brings that dynamic to an already talented squad.

“Like Bill before him, we’re really looking forward to seeing how he can develop in a 15’s environment and we’re really hopeful that he can be a big player for us in the seasons to come.”

Born in Tailevu – the same village in which Fijian teammate Mata was raised – the 6ft 3in playmaker joined the police force while representing Fiji U20 in the early stages of his career.

Kunavula made his HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series debut at the 2016 Dubai leg where Fiji finished runners-up after falling short against South Africa in the final.

The back-row was named in the Fiji Sevens squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games held on Australia’s Gold Coast and finished the tournament with a silver medal as the South Sea Islanders were pipped by New Zealand.

Kunavula was a key man as Fiji finished the 2018/19 Sevens Series in first place, winning five out of 10 tournaments.

Watch: Italy plays host to Jim in the latest episode of our Rugby Explorer series.

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'That bit of x-factor' - Edinburgh land Fiji Sevens star Kunavula