Edinburgh have today secured the signing of Fijian Sevens star Mesulame Kunavula on a long-term deal.
Kunavula, 22, can play in the second or back rows and has joined up with Richard Cockerill’s men immediately as they prepare for the 2019/20 season, from the Fijian Sevens squad.
“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.Mesulame Kunavula
Born in the same village in which Fijian teammate Viliame “Bill” Mata was raised – the 6ft 3in forward joined the police force while representing Fiji U20s in the early stages of his rugby career before playing on the Sevens circuit between 2016 and 2019 and also picked up a Commonwealth Games silver medal.
“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.”Richard Cockerill
Damien Hoyland has already been offered a contract extension to fill the hole left by winger Kalione Nasoko failing his medical test after the initial signing announcement, and we still await official word on the signing of scrum-half Nic Groom.
There is also heavy chatter that Nic Groom’s* Lions teammate, flanker Kwagga Smith is set to join the capital side as World Cup cover when John Barclay, Hamish Watson and possible one or both of Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury could be on international duty. However Smith was selected in Rassie Erasmus’s “alignment squad” earlier today which could mean he’s still an outside bet for a trip to Japan himself…
Former Edinburgh player Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has been snapped up by Racing 92 as World Cup cover, having told the BBC this week he would rather play through the World Cup in an effort to get his career back on track than play a peripheral role as he did in 2015.
UPDATE (26/06): Glasgow have finally started rolling out some more of their new signings, with the latest announcement that Fijian hooker Mesulame “Mesu” Dolokoto has signed a 2 year deal subject to visa and medical. Other new signings so far: Andrew Davidson, Jamie Dobie, Charlie Capps and George Thornton.
Mesu (24) has 9 full caps for Fiji (including one off the bench against Scotland), has captained their A side and also spent time with the Brumbies a few years back.
He was named in their wider World Cup training squad this month so should most likely be seen as a long term signing, not a nifty piece of World Cup cover for Fraser Brown who announced this week that he is aiming to be fit again by the latter World Cup warm up games.
*UPDATE (27/06): Nic Groom has finally been announced as Edinburgh’s new scrum-half signing.