Sunday 17 December 2017

Tuitupou signs two-year deal at Sale

Hugh Farrelly

SALE have confirmed the capture of a second Munster player, with centre Sam Tuitupou joining prop Tony Buckley at the English Premiership side on a two-year deal next season.

The 29-year-old, who has won nine caps for New Zealand, joined Munster from Worcester on a one-year deal last summer. He has played 19 times for Munster so far this season, scoring tries against London Irish in October and the Scarlets the following month.

Munster have been linked with Stephen Donald from the Waikato Chiefs, who is expected to return to Super 15 duty after injury this weekend while other Kiwis, such as Auckland Blues midfielders Luke McAlister and Stephen Brett, are also expected to move to Europe.

One All Black definitely not moving to the northern hemisphere is back-row Liam Messam, who has committed to the Chiefs for another two years.

"I just love playing here in New Zealand and the way the Chiefs try and play rugby," said Messam.

"It suits my game and I don't really want to go up to the cold weather and pick-and-go all day."

Meanwhile, Ulster are nursing their bruises following their Heineken Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Northampton at Milton Keynes last Sunday. Aside from the psychological blow to morale, there are injury concerns over second-rows Johann Muller and Dan Tuohy.

Muller has soft tissue trauma to his right quad and will have ongoing treatment this week ahead of Ulster's Magners League clash with Leinster at the RDS on Saturday. Tuohy took a heavy blow to the eye area but CT scans yesterday revealed no bone damage.

Ulster lie second in the league table, 12 points behind Munster and three ahead of fourth-placed Leinster, with three games to go against Joe Schmidt's side, Connacht and the Dragons.

Irish Independent

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