Northampton Saints have announced the signing of Fijian international prop Campese Ma’afu, who is joining the club with immediate effect.
The 31-year-old is no stranger to either the East Midlands or indeed British rugby, having represented Fiji at Rugby World Cup 2015 as well as playing for two years in the Championship with Nottingham and a further one at Cardiff Blues.
Although born in Sydney, Ma’afu has been capped 39 times by Fiji, the last of which came against Uruguay in front of a record crowd at stadiummk last October.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that Ma’afu will add cover in an important position.
“Campese will add to our experience in one of the most important positions on the field,” he said. “He has played at the highest international level at two Rugby World Cups, and he will give us options, both for the rest of this season and in years to come.
“We were impressed by how he played in the World Cup earlier in the season, especially against England at Twickenham.”
Ma’afu, who was a regular in the stands at Franklin’s Gardens when elder brother Salesi was helping the Saints win the Aviva Premiership title and finish top of the league table, says that he cannot wait to play in front of the club’s supporters.
“Northampton is going to be a great club to be a part of,” he said. “During my time at Nottingham and when Salesi was here I was at quite a lot of the home games. There’s a great atmosphere here, and I hope I’ve got a lot to offer to the team.
“Playing in the Aviva Premiership was a goal for me as soon as I moved to the northern hemisphere. Now that I’ve been blessed with this opportunity with the Saints it’s something I really want to do my best at.
“I know there’s big competition for the jersey. The Waller brothers are both quality looseheads, and it’s going to be good competition for me to play alongside a good bunch of boys.”