MUNSTER HAVE TODAY announced the signing of New Zealand centre Francis Saili.
Capped twice by the All Blacks, the versatile 24-year-old can also play on the wing and has scored five tries in 33 Super Rugby appearances for the Blues, as well as representing Auckland on 31 occasions in the ITM Cup.
According to a Munster Rugby statement, Saili will join the province “later this year on completion of his 2015 contractual commitments”.
At the age of 22, Saili made his debut for the All Blacks against Argentina in September 2013, before being capped again against Japan the following November. He also scored a try for the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham last November.
“I believe this is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am fortunate to move to a club held in such high regard, with values and traditions I can relate to from my time here in the Blues,” Saili told MunsterRugby.ie.
“This experience will stand to me as a player and I believe I can continue to improve and grow within the Munster set-up. As difficult as it is to leave the Blues, I look forward to the exciting challenge ahead.”
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A native of Auckland, Saili was part of the New Zealand U20 team that won the Junior World Championship in Italy in 2011. His older brother, Peter, is a back-row forward and was recently released by the Blues ahead of an expected move to a club in France.
Francis Saili on the charge for the Blues against the Chiefs.
Commenting on the signing of Francis Saili, Munster head coach Anthony Foley said: “We are really pleased that Francis has committed his future to the province.
“He is a talented centre with an impressive skill-set and he possesses the physical attributes to excel in the Northern Hemisphere. I believe he will be a great addition to our backline and we look forward to welcoming him to Munster.”
Here’s a taste of what Francis Saili has to offer…
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