Samoan international second-row Brandon Nansen has joined Welsh region the Dragons on a two-year deal from Top 14 side Stade Français.
Nansen, 24, began his senior career with New Zealand province North Harbour and helped them lift the Mitre 10 Cup Championship title in 2016.
His performances didn’t go unnoticed at Super Rugby level as he was named as a member of the Blues squad for the 2017 season.
Nansen chose to represent Samoa, making his international debut against Romania last November, but made his first steps on the high-performance ladder as a New Zealand School boys representative in 2011.
He was also picked for AucklandU16s and U18s, whilst attending Sacred Heart College in Auckland, a school with notable alumni including Sean Fitzpatrick, Sonny Parker, Xavier Rush and a number of other All Blacks.
“This is one of our most significant acquisitions for next season,” said Jackman. “We’ve made no secret that we’ve been tracking a strong and aggressive ball carrying second-row, so we’re delighted to confirm Brandon Nansen’s signing as he fits the bill.
“I flew to Auckland two years ago to try and convince Brandon to come to France, but he was offered a Super Rugby contract with the Auckland Blues. We have stayed in contact and I am delighted to get him this time.
“Brandon is a highly mobile lock with loads of potential and whilst not yet the finished article, at 6’6” and 18 stone I’m looking forward to seeing him give our pack power at the set-piece, aggression at the breakdown as well as his mobility and go forward around the park.”
Nansen said: “I’m really happy to be joining the Dragons. It’s a new challenge to come and play in Wales, a proud rugby nation.
“I’ve come from Auckland to be here on the other side of the world, but I’m enjoying my rugby and getting a taste of what Europe is like. The rugby is different from back home, but I’m learning a lot and hopefully I can bring my physical presence to the Dragons.”