Sport Rugby

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Connacht rejoice in Vainikolo coup

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Tongan winger Fetu'u Vainikolo has become the latest addition to Connacht's roster for next season after signing from the Highlanders.

The 26-year-old has represented the New Zealand Barbarians and scored 13 tries for the Otago-based franchise since 2008. An explosive ball carrier, the 5'9" outside back will join on a two-year deal.

Vainikolo will help form a new-look Connacht backline next season, with Ian Keatley moving to Munster, while Ulster pair Mark McCrea and Niall O'Connor are on their way to the Sportsground.

"We're really looking forward to Fetu'u joining us," coach Eric Elwood said. "He has shown he can score tries from anywhere on the pitch and we are excited to have a player of his skill and expertise joining the team.

"Having a player of his pace and physicality in the backs will add an extra dimension to our game."

Meanwhile, Munster coach Tony McGahan suggested yesterday that he would be looking abroad to fill the centre position soon to be vacated by Sam Tuitupou.

"Our history suggests that the No 12 position is one we could look to fill from outside," said the Australian coach.

"We're developing players underneath, but at this point in time we'll look to see what's out there."

England winger Mark Cueto has been cited for eye-gouging while playing for Sale and risks a minimum ban of three months.

Cueto was cited yesterday for "making contact with the eye or eye area" of Northampton's Christian Day during a match last Saturday. A judicial hearing is set for Monday.

Irish Independent

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