Wallabies prop Ma'afu joins Northampton
February 4, 2013
Salesi Ma'afu has played 14 Tests for the Wallabies and was a member of the 2011 Rugby World Cup squad. © Getty Images
Salesi Ma'afu has joined English Premiership side Northampton Saints for the 2013-2014 season.
The Wallabies tight-head prop will see out the Super Rugby season with Western Force, and is available for Test selection for the British and Irish Lions Tour and the Rugby Championship before joining the Saints in October.
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder expects Ma'afu will thrive in the scrum-dominated environment of the northern hemisphere.
"We have been impressed by what we have seen from Salesi," Mallinder said. "He has built up a good reputation as one of the top props in Australia and has been a big part of the Wallabies' recent improvements in the set piece.
"Salesi will add a great deal to our group of props and the squad in general going into next season, and we're looking forward to welcoming him to Franklin's Gardens later in the year."
Ma'afu, 29, played the first of his 14 Tests against Fiji in 2010 and was a member of the Wallabies' Rugby World Cup squad the following year. He finished 2011 as Robbie Deans' preferred tighthead prop, but he missed the 2012 Test campaign after breaking his right arm in the Super Rugby campaign.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry