Worcester have made Tonga forward Sione Vailanu their latest signing for 2021/22, the 26-year-old arriving at Sixways on a two-year contract from Wasps whom he joined following a season-and-a-half with Saracens. Vailanu is the second Wasps player Warriors have recruited for next season following tighthead prop Jack Owlett.
They join Scotland international wing Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), England scrum-half Willi Heinz (Gloucester), Wales hooker Scott Baldwin (Harlequins), scrum-half Will Chudley and tighthead prop Christian Judge (Bath) as newcomers.
“Sione is really powerful and explosive,” said Worcester boss Jonathan Thomas. “I have been an admirer of him as a player from his time with Saracens and since he joined Wasps.
“It’s an opportunity for him to make a real difference to us. In the Premiership, to be successful you need to have physical and powerful men and Sione is certainly that. The way he plays lends itself to what we are trying to achieve with our game moving forward.”
As well as Gallagher Premiership experience, Vailanu has seven caps for Tonga, the most recent in the August 2019 victory over Canada. He spent four years playing sevens rugby for Asahi University in Japan and was spotted by Saracens while playing for Samurai in the Hong Kong Tens in 2017.
The changes at Sixways continue under Jonathan Thomas https://t.co/q8LEkwA0rW
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 27, 2021
“I’m extremely excited to have signed for Worcester and I’m looking forward to joining up with the club ahead of next season,” Vailanu said. “I know that Alan Solomons and Jonathan have ambitions for Warriors to become a sustainable top-six Premiership club and I’m looking forward to helping them achieve their objectives.”
Director of rugby Solomons said: “We are really pleased to have Sione join us here at Sixways. He is an experienced, powerful, ball-carrying No8 who will add huge value to the team. He is also a very likeable character who we all look forward to welcoming to the club and working with.”
"I could easily have been rocking around Belfast going ‘I play for Ulster’, wearing all my Ulster tracksuits and living in fantasy land."@NiallAnnett2, speaking on the @RugbyTelf podcast, urges more fringe Irish talent to look overseas for playing time https://t.co/9vbb1aL9F0
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 25, 2021
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