Saints sign Samoan centre Pisi
March 1, 2011
George Pisi has signed for Northampton © Getty Images
Northampton Saints have completed the signing of Samoan international centre George Pisi.
The former Blues, North Harbour and Taranaki midfielder is currently with Top 14 champions Clermont Auvergne on a short-term deal as a 'medical joker' but will arrive at Franklin's Gardens next season.
The 24-year-old, who can also play at fullback, started for Samoa against Ireland, England and Scotland in last year's autumn internationals and will provide added cover for the Saints following the departure of Joe Ansbro to London Irish.
"It's an awesome club," he said. "I've admired the people who have been through it. Playing against Chris Ashton and Ben Foden in the autumn was awesome and it'll be exciting to get the chance to play with them in England.
"Hopefully playing at Clermont will be good for me. The more rugby I play the better I get, so when I come back for Taranaki, then hopefully the World Cup with Samoa, I'll be able to hit the ground running when I get to Northampton."
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes Pisi's versatility makes him a useful addition to the squad.
"George has improved a lot over the past year or so and we were impressed with what we've seen of him playing for Samoa in the autumn and Taranaki in the ITM Cup," he said. "He's a strong runner who likes to play with the ball in hand. Although he played for Samoa at centre he is comfortable in a number of positions, which will be good for our squad as a whole."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape