Saints snap up Fiji World Cup forward

Saints have signed versatile Fijian forward Sam Matavesi with immediate effect.

Sam Matavesi featured for Fiji at the World Cup
Sam Matavesi featured for Fiji at the World Cup

Matavesi, who played in all four of Fiji's games at the recent World Cup in Japan, primarily lines up at hooker but can also be called upon at No.8.

The 27-year-old joins Saints from Championship club Cornish Pirates, where he has been since 2017.

It will be his first taste of the Gallagher Premiership, but he has previously enjoyed a loan spell in France, representing Toulouse as they went on to win the Top 14 title last season.

Matavesi has played for the Royal Navy Senior XV

Matavesi, brother of Newcastle Falcons duo Josh and Joel, balances his rugby commitments with a career in the Royal Navy and is usually based at RNAS Culdrose.

He has not only played in the annual Babcock Trophy match against the Army at Twickenham, but has also represented the UK Armed Forces side and was awarded the Cossack Sword in 2018.

And Matavesi is now looking forward to his new challenge in Northampton.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to compete at the top level of English rugby and I can’t wait to pull on a black, green and gold jersey for the first time,” Matavesi said.

Matavesi's most recent club was Cornish Pirates

“Northampton Saints is a club steeped in history and the team is playing a fantastic brand of rugby at the moment – plus having a few fellow Fijians here at Franklin’s Gardens is a nice bonus!

"I can’t wait to get started.”