(Photo: Getty Images)
By Adam Ellis
Northampton Saints have completed the signing of Fijian-born Australian Taqele Naiyaravoro from the NSW Waratahs ahead of next season.
The 19st5lb wing will replace the size of George North who is on his way back to an unnamed Welsh region when his contract at Franklin’s Gardens expires in the summer.
Naiyaravoro was part of the Glasgow Warriors which reached the PRO12 play-offs two seasons ago when he scored nine tries in 22 appearances, before losing out to eventual winners Connacht in the semi-finals.
Saints newest recruit told the club’s official website: “I’m thrilled to be able to return to the UK and join a massive club in Northampton Saints.
“The squad is already filled with talent and I can’t wait to arrive and try to develop further as a player.
“The club is heading in a really exciting direction with the likes of Chris Boyd and Dan Biggar arriving next year, and I hope I can be a part of a push for more silverware at Franklin’s Gardens.”
The 26-year-old has played Super Rugby for the Waratahs since crossing codes back in 2014 after a spell with Parramatta, and Northampton’s technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney said he and the club’s future coach Chris Boyd valued the attributes Naiyaravoro brings to a back-line from their own experiences in the Southern Hemisphere.
“Taqele Naiyaravoro is an immense talent and we feel that he can really fulfil his sizeable potential at Saints,” Gaffney commented.
“He clearly boasts the physical attributes to cause teams a lot of problems in the Aviva Premiership and in Europe – and he showed that during his time with Glasgow.
“Taqele already has a relationship with Rob Horne having played with him at the Waratahs and I’m sure he will make a massive impact when he slots into the back-line next year.”