Planet Rugby

Falcons bring in Tongan lock

18th June 2014 13:03

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Dean Richards Gloucester v Newcastle 2014 Premiership

Dean Richards: Likes what he has seen of Uili Kolo'ofai

Newcastle have announced the signing of Tongan second-row Uili Kolo'ofai from French club US Colomiers, on a two-year deal.

Kolo'ofai joins the Falcons as a replacement for Semisi Taulava, whose move from Worcester will now not take place after a failed medical.

A powerful 6' 6" lock forward who weighs in at almost 19 stone, Kolo'ofai brings an impressive physical presence to the Falcons pack.

Equally adept in the back row, the player also promises to make contributions in open play thanks to a high level of athleticism.

The Auckland born 31-year-old began his career in 2004 aged just 21 as part of the Otago team in New Zealand's NPC competition before joining the Coca Cola Club in Fukuoka, Japan in 2009.

After a season competing in Japan's top league he moved to Europe, representing Crociati RFC and Cavalieri Prato before joining Colomiers in 2012.

Becoming an influential member of the squad, he earned his first cap for Tonga, who he qualifies for via his parents, playing against Romania in Bucharest.

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: "I'm very pleased to welcome Uili to the Falcons.

"He is a versatile forward and I'm looking forward to him making a valuable contribution to the team's performances next season.

"I like what I have seen of him to date and expect him to increase the competition for places in the second and back rows, which will in turn drive forward the standards within the squad."

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