Connacht Rugby have today completed the signing of rugby league legend Henry Fa’afili.
Samoan born Fa’afili scored more than 400 points in seven years of rugby league playing with the New Zealand Warriors and Warrington Wolves.
In 2007, while playing for the Wolves, he was the Super League’s top try scorer with 22 tries in 29 games.
His blistering pace and ferocious ball carrying ability, coupled with some slick offloading have made Fa’afili a fans favourite and supporters at the Sportsground are sure to be treated to some outstanding displays from the powerful centre next season.
Fa’afili changed codes to play rugby union for Biarritz in 2007 alongside French test veterans Damien Traille, Dmitri Yachvili and Italian centre Andrea Masi and following a successful season in the south of France, he joined Aviva Premiership side Leeds Carnegie; who have since been relegated.
The 5’11, 104kg centre has played for Samoa and New Zealand in rugby league, scoring a hat-trick against Great Britain in 2002 and has represented Manu Samoa in rugby union in the Pacific 6 Nations competition.
He will join Eric Elwood’s squad when they return to pre-season training next week.
Speaking about the move Fa’afili said: “I’m really looking forward to joining Connacht in what is a very exciting time for both myself and the club. I’ve always wanted to experience the Magners League (RaboDirect PRO12) and with Connacht in the Heineken Cup next year it’s a great opportunity for me.
"I spoke to Mike Forshaw (Connacht’s Defence Coach) who I know from my rugby league days and he explained what Connacht were about and the great work that is going on there so I’m very excited about the move. Galway is a great city and myself and my fiancée are really looking forward to living there.”
Head Coach Eric Elwood was equally as happy with signing the giant Samoan.
“Henry is a quality player with a proven track record with both Biarritz and Leeds,” he said.
“We will use Henry’s experience and power to compliment the youth and raw talent of our backs. He is a dynamic ball carrier with exceptional skill, strength and pace and we look forward to working with him, along with our other new signings, in the coming weeks.”