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Pro14

Edinburgh Snap Up Fijian Sevens Star

Edinburgh have secured the signing of one of the brightest young talents from Rugby Sevens

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(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Fijian Sevens youngster Mesulame Kunavula has signed for Edinburgh on a long-term deal the Scottish club have confirmed.

The 22-year-old visited the club earlier in the year ahead of a potential move and has now made the switch from Sevens to the 15’s fold.

Speaking ahead of the move Kunavula admitted that Viliame Mata had a big role to play in his decision.

“I’m delighted to start the next chapter of my career in Edinburgh. Viliame [Mata] is a good friend of mine and he has told me so much about the club and life in Scotland. I’ve really enjoyed my time on the Sevens circuit, but I felt it was the right time to move abroad and develop my own game further. The facilities in Edinburgh are world class and I’m only going to improve as a player. I’m really looking forward to getting involved in pre-season and representing this club for the years to come,” he said.

Kunavula is known for his ability to beat players and his offloads which head coach Richard Cockerill noted while welcoming him to the club.

“Mesu really stood out during his time representing Fiji on the Sevens circuit and his ability to beat a man, as well as offload in the tackle are really world class. We have been looking at adding players who offer something different – that bit of x-factor – and I certainly think Mesu brings that dynamic to an already talented squad. Like Bill before him, we’re really looking forward to seeing how he can develop in a 15’s environment and we’re really hopeful that he can be a big player for us in the seasons to come,” he said.

Kunavula became a key component of the Fijian team that claimed the Sevens Series this year and is versatile, being able to play anywhere along the back five as well as both flanker and lock.

With Mata being named PRO 14 Player of the Season for 2018/19, he may have competition from within his own club now for individual honours, all of which points towards a bright future for Edinburgh fans.

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Pro14

Ulster Rugby star suffers pre-season ACL tear

9 months out.

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Not the news that any Ulster fans want.

Another new signing struck down by injury before the season has even started.

Gareth Milasinovich who joined the province from Worcester Warriors was struck down in the last couple of weeks with an ACL tear that will see him on the sidelines for approximately 9 months.

Ulster Rugby fans have become accustomed to similar situations over the last number of seasons with many new exciting signings being struck down very early into their Ulster careers with ‘big’ injuries’.

Jared Payne ruptured an achilles tendon very early in his Ulster career and other big-name casualties include Marcel Coetzee and Jean Dysell who also suffered ACL injuries in their opening seasons with Ulster Rugby.

We wish Gareth a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him and the other new recruits at Ulster on the field really soon.

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Pro14

Cheetahs Make Four More Signings

After announcing the arrival of Ruan Pienaar last week the Cheetahs have added a further four players to their squad for next season

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(Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Free State Cheetahs have confirmed the signings of four more players ahead of the 2019/20 PRO14 season. 

Only last week they announced the signing of veteran scrum-half Ruan Pienaar but he will be joined at the club by Rhyno Smith, Chris Massyn, Chris Smit and Wilmar Arnoldi.

Smith currently plays for the Sharks and is a utility back who was on loan with the Cheetahs last season but has now made his switch permanent with a three-year contract.

Massyn on the other hand is a loose forward most frequently used as a flanker. The 25-year-old led the University of Stellenbosch Maties to the 2019 Varsity Cup and has signed a two-year deal.

Smit also claimed victory in the 2019 Varsity Cup and was named player of the tournament before signing for Griquas. He plays as a centre usually but can also play at fly-half if needed and joins on a two-year contract.

Hooker Arnoldi is also coming in from Griquas on another two-year contract.

All four will join up with the squad after finishing the Currie Cup campaign with their respective provinces, but things are certainly looking on the up heading into the new season for the Cheetahs.

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Premiership

Worcester Coach on the Move

Worcester Warriors head coach Rory Duncan could be set to leave the club very soon according to reports

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(Photo by Ashley Crowden - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Worcester Warriors head coach Rory Duncan has been given permission to speak to other clubs according to reports in the Worcester News. 

The news outlet claim that they have been informed by the club that they do not see Duncan as a part of their future plans.

“The club has put in place a strategic plan for the future of Warriors. We do not envisage Rory Duncan being part of those plans and, therefore, we have given Rory permission to seek opportunities elsewhere,” a club spokesperson said

Duncan has impressed with stints at the Cheetahs and the Warriors, and a return to the Cheetahs looked to be on the cards until the club announced Hawies Fourie as their new coach.

However, the Southern Kings are currently looking for a new head coach and Duncan is among a four-man list of coaches being considered for the position, with Steve Jackson, Corniel van Zyl and Pieter de Villiers being the others.

Duncan has experience with the Kings having played two Currie Cup seasons with them before his retirement from playing.

Both the Warriors and the Kings open up their respective campaigns for the 2019/20 season in September and one would imagine they will want a quick resolution if he is to depart for South Africa once again.

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