Tu'ifua bolsters Falcons' pack
August 4, 2011
Tu'ifua becomes the Falcons 14th close season signing © Getty Images
The Newcastle Falcons have bolstered their pack ahead of the 2011-12 Premiership season with the signing of Samoan back-row Taiasina Tu'ifua.
The 26-year-old flanker was instrumental in Samoa's historic 32-23 win over Austraila last month and standing at 6"6 will certainly bring a physical presence to the Falcons pack. Having only made his Test debut two months ago against Japan - Tu'ifua's rise has been rapid and Newcastle coach Alan Tait acted quickly to secure his man.
"I'm absolutely ecstatic that he has decided to sign for us. We have been holding out to find this sort of player and we have finally got our man," said Tait. "He's a big man, a good ball carrier and will give us so many dimensions to our set-up.
"He was a big part of the Samoan team which conquered Australia a fortnight ago and I am delighted that we held out for him."
Tu'ifua - who will be joined on Tyneside by fellow Samoan Jamie Helleur- is delighted to be able to ply his trade in the Premiership and becomes the Falcons 14th close-season signing in the process.
"I am delighted to sign for the Newcastle Falcons," Tu'ifua said. "The Falcons are an ambitious club and I am looking forward to pulling on the Falcons jersey."
And with the Premiership season just under a month away, Tait has expressed his desire to bring another new face to Kingston Park. The Falcons have been linked with Wallabies centre Ryan Cross and South African Corne Uys and Tait hopes to land his man sooner rather than later.
"Everyone knows we are after a big centre but he has to be the right type of player," Tait said. "We are again holding out for that player and hopefully we will get something tied up before the season starts."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
The Wallabies showed flair in Dublin, but they still have a way to go if they are to do more than make up the numbers at the World Cup, writes Greg Growden
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales' lessons to learn in defeat by New Zealand are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards