Naiyaravoro signs with Northampton

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Hulking Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro will join Northampton next season, the English club announced overnight.

Naiyaravoro will join former Waratahs teammate Rob Horne at the Premiership club, after Horne signed a three-year deal to move at the end of last season.

This will be Naiyaravoro's second stint in the UK, having spent time with the Glasgow Warriors in the 2015-16 season, while he also spent a season with Japanese club Panasonic ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

The 26-year-old has trimmed down this preseason, dropping more than 10kg, impressing his Waratahs coaches ahead of what is shaping has possibly his final season in NSW.

"I’m thrilled to be able to return to the UK and join a massive Club in Northampton Saints,” he said.

“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 9Hurricanes coach) 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.”

Northampton interim coach Allan Gaffney said Naiyaravoro would be a handy addition for the club.

“Taqele Naiyaravoro is an immense talent and we feel that he can really fulfil his sizeable potential at Saints,” he 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.”