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Connacht Announce Vainikolo Signing

Connacht Announce Vainikolo Signing

Connacht Rugby have completed the signing of winger Fetu’u Vainikolo from Super 15 franchise, the Highlanders.

Fetu’u Vainikolo was born in Tonga and moved to New Zealand when he was 12. He joined Northland in 2007 and scored 10 tries in 22 appearances for the New Zealand province.

In 2009, the winger moved to Otago where he earned a further 15 caps before making his Super Rugby debut for the Highlanders in 2008 against the Reds.

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The 26-year-old scored an impressive 13 tries for the Highlanders between 2008 and 2010 and is known for his explosive ball-carrying and solid defensive ability.

Vainikolo stands 182 cm tall and weighs 98 kg and will join Connacht at the start of next season on a two-year contract.

He starred for the 2010 New Zealand Barbarians against the New Zealand Maori, playing alongside recent Ulster signings Jared Payne and John Afoa, putting in an impressive display against the likes of current All Blacks Hosea Gear and Luke McAllister.

Speaking about his move to Ireland, he said: “I am excited about furthering my career with Connacht. I have watched their progress with interest this season and been impressed with their style of play.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully scoring many tries in the green jersey.”

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood added: “We’re really looking forward to Fetu’u joining us, he has shown he can score tries from anywhere on the pitch and we are excited to have a player of his skill and expertise joining the team.

“Having a player of his pace and physicality in the backs will add an extra dimension to our game.”