Connacht Rugby and the IRFU have today announced the signing of Fijian-born back rower Naulia Dawai on a two-year deal.
The 29-year-old, who joins Connacht on the back of three seasons with NPC side Otago in New Zealand, was capped for Fiji in June 2016, starting three Tests against Tonga, Samoa and Georgia.
Born in Fiji, Naulia Dawai moved to New Zealand in 2011 to play club rugby with Southland. He played Sevens with the provincial side before breaking into the 2013 ITM Cup team where he made nine appearances.
A year later, he moved to Otago and emerged as a regular in the 2015 ITM Cup campaign. In September 2015, Dawai scored three tries against Auckland, becoming only the fourth player in NPC history to score a hat-trick at Eden Park.
Commenting on the westerners’ latest player signing, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said:
“We’re pleased to welcome Naulia to Connacht Rugby and believe that he has the talent and determination to add to our squad in what is an exciting season for us.”
Connacht head coach Pat Lam added:
“Naulia is an exciting addition to the Connacht Rugby squad as he brings X-factor to our hard-working forward pack. He can play across the back row, which is a great boost to our options up front and also provides vital depth and competition in those positions.