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Rebels sign Japanese international

01st March 2014 06:39

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New Rebel: Male Sau

The Rebels have signed New Zealand-born Japanese international Male Sau until the end of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

Versatile 26-year-old Sau can play fly-half, inside or outside centre, and has excelled as an international player since moving to Japan to play for Yamaha Jubilo for the 2008/2009 season.

Prior to that, Sau played for Counties Manukau in New Zealand's ITM Cup, as well as representing New Zealand at numerous underage levels. Sau played alongside All Blacks Ben Smith and Colin Slade in the world champion 2009 New Zealand U20 side, as well alongside Rebel leader Scott Fuglistaller in the New Zealand Under 19s side.

At full international level Male had been courted by Samoa, the country of his heritage; however he pledged his allegiance to the Brave Blossoms and has played for his adopted country on thirteen occasions, scoring seven tries.

Sau has also scored a highly impressive 23 tries in 46 matches in Japan's Top League, and starred for the Japanese in their big upset of Wales in 2013, as well as playing against the All Blacks and Scotland.

Ahead of landing in Melbourne this weekend, Sau alleviated concerns that his late arrival would impact on his ability to play early in the season for the Rebels

"We've only just finished our season here in Japan, so like Tamati Ellison when he arrived, I'm match fit," he said.

"I think I will adapt fair quickly, and I hope that I will be able to perform well at Super Rugby level. I'm really excited to be a part of the Rebels nation!"

Sau will play his Dewar Shield Rugby for the Box Hill Broncos, and he will have some familiar faces in Shota Horie and Tamati Ellison when he touches down to join up with the squad.

The Rebels head to Perth for their second match against Western Forceon March 8.