Saints swoop for another Pisi
June 11, 2012
New Northampton recruit Ken Pisi made his international bow for Samoa against Tonga at the weekend © Getty Images
Northampton Saints have continued their re-building ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season with the signing of Samoa international winger Ken Pisi.
Pisi, the younger brother of current Saints centre George, has risen rapidly through the Samoan representative ranks over the past few months, from taking the IRB Sevens Series by storm to making his full international debut in last Saturday's 20-18 Pacific Nations Cup win over Tonga.
The 23-year-old had previously made a name for himself in New Zealand colours having featured in the Baby Blacks' side that claimed the 2009 International Rugby Board's Junior World Championship crown. He joins Saints having spent the last five years wth North Harbour and is relishing the challenge that awaits.
"I want to experience something different," he said. "I was impressed by [director of rugby] Jim Mallinder and the rest of the Saints coaches, and I've seen that it is a good environment, has a strong sense of community and is a club which takes care of players.
"Obviously the fact that George is doing well at the club made my decision easier. He's been enjoying his rugby and told me that the club is well organised with a tight squad, and everything that I've seen myself backs that up.
"I like to think that I'm an attacking player, so I think I'll fit into the style of play. The Saints like to use the ball and to attack and are an exciting team to watch. I want to fulfil my potential and am looking forward to doing that in the black, green and gold of the Saints."
Mallinder was delighted to be able to bolster his options ahead of the new season with such an exciting young talent. "We've been very excited by what we've seen from Ken," he commented. "He is fast and physical and has good rugby awareness and handling skills.
"He is also versatile and can slot into a number of positions, which is important for us as we try to maintain a squad which can compete both in the Premiership and Europe while staying within the salary cap."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker