Glasgow confirm Naiyaravoro swoop

Date published: May 18 2015

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Glasgow Warriors have signed Fijian winger Taqele Naiyaravoro from the Waratahs on a long-term deal, subject to a visa and medical.

The 6ft 5in winger, who weighs 19 stone, has penned a three-year contract at Scotstoun after impressing with the Super Rugby champions.

The former rugby league star, who can play on the wing or at centre, will join the Warriors at the end of the current Super Rugby season.

Naiyaravoro has played 15 times for the Waratahs since joining last May, with five of those appearances coming towards the end of last season's Super 15 campaign. He has scored six tries, with his first coming on just his third appearance against the Highlanders.

The uncapped 23-year-old, who was born in Suva, played rugby union all through his school days in Fiji before being spotted by a scout who took him to New Zealand at the age of just 19.

He was recruited by Australian NRL side Wests Tigers in 2012, and was a prolific try-scorer for their NSW Cup team. He scored 23 tries in 15 games for the Balmain Tigers, before switching codes and joining the Waratahs.

Naiyaravoro was named in the Waratahs starting line-up for the first time in the opening game of this season's campaign against Western Force and then again the following week when he scored two tries in a 38-28 win over Melbourne Rebels. 

He has started seven games this season and was selected in the Super Rugby team of the week in Round 6. Earlier this month he scored an incredible solo-effort against Western Force, leading to him being compared to All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu.

Naiyaravoro said: "Glasgow have been talking to me for a while and opened the door for me, so I'm happy to have signed a long-term contract with the club. I'm looking forward to moving to Glasgow with my family to continue my development.

"They are a strong team and it's really exciting to get the opportunity to move over there and play my rugby in Scotland next season.

"It's been great playing with the likes of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Kurtley Beale at the Waratahs this season. They've been really helpful and I've learnt a lot from them.

"It will be a new challenge for me to play in the Pro12 and compete against the best sides in Europe in the Champions Cup."

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Taqele is a very exciting signing for our club.

"We've been tracking him for a number of months and we know there has been a lot of speculation about his future, so we're delighted that we can finally announce that he will become a Glasgow Warriors player in the summer.

"Taqele has made a real impact since joining the Waratahs last season and has the potential to become one of the best wingers in the Pro12.

"His sheer size and strength will give us another option in our back-line and I'm sure he will be an excellent addition to our squad.

"He has a great attitude and desire to work and improve and we'd like to thank Scottish Rugby for their support in securing a player of Taqele's quality.

"We look forward to him joining us at the end of the season and we know he'll be with us regardless of any international commitments.”

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