Leicester Tigers have signed powerhouse Tongan international winger Hosea Saumaki.
The outside-back will join Tigers ahead of the 2021/22 season after five seasons in Japan, including three seasons representing the Sunwolves in Super Rugby.
In 2012, Saumaki represented Tonga at Under-20s level and on the international Sevens circuit.
The Tongan-born back represented Daito Bunka University in Tokyo before joining Japanese Top League club Canon Eagles in 2017.
A prolific try-scorer, Saumaki finished his debut season in the Top League second on the competition’s try-scorers tally.
The 29-year-old made his Test debut for Tonga against the All Blacks earlier this year, before adding two more international appearances in back-to-back appearances against Samoa in New Zealand.
Speaking about the signing of Saumaki, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “Hosea is an exciting signing for the club.
“He is a strong, physical and fast outside-back who has shown himself to be a prolific try-scorer in his career-to-date.
“In our conversations with Hosea, we’ve been impressed by his desire to want to be a part of what we are building at Leicester Tigers and are looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”
Discussing his move to Tigers, Saumaki said: “I’ve always wanted to play rugby in the United Kingdom and to get that opportunity at Leicester Tigers is a dream.
“Tigers have a big fan base, who are really supportive of the team and the boys and for me to be a part of that is really exciting.
“I want to get the ball in hand, keep the energy up and score some tries for Leicester; that’s what I like to do, give one-hundred percent for my team mates and the club.”
Saumaki is is Borthwick’s 13th addition ahead of the 2021/22 campaign alongside fellow backs Freddie Burns, Bryce Hegarty, Dan Lancaster, Juan-Pablo Socino and forwards Dan Richardson, Eli Snyman, Marco Van Staden and Francois Van Wyk, as well as four graduates from the Leicester Tigers Academy.