Ratuniyarawa swaps Agen for Saints

Lock Api Ratuniyarawa has signed for Premiership club Northampton Saints after Agen agreed to release him early from his contract.

The Fijian second row is in his fourth season at Agen, having played 70 times for the club, but will join up with Northampton after Agen agreed to release him early from his contract.

Agen’s chairman of the board Alain Tingaud said Ratuniyarawa leaves with the club’s best wishes.

"Api has been a good servant to Agen for the last three seasons and he has been a big part of our team,” he said. “We understand that it is his family’s desire to live in an English-speaking country, which is why we have agreed to release him early from his contract, and Api leaves with our best wishes for success in England with Northampton."

The six-foot-six-inch lock, who weighs 112kg, will add physicality and experience to Northampton's squad having represented his country 19 times and recently helped them win the Pacific Nations Cup.

"Api is a strong, athletic, physical lock and he has the potential to make a big impact in the Aviva Premiership," Saints Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder said. 

"He has plenty of experience, both at international level and in the challenging environment of French club rugby, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do at Franklin’s Gardens."

Ratuniyarawa says that he is looking forward to experiencing English rugby.

"I’ve enjoyed playing for Agen, which is a great club,” he said. “But now I’m looking forward to the next part of my career in England. It is a decision which I have made as much for my family as for myself, and I am grateful to Northampton’s coaches for giving me the opportunity.

"I know from my Fiji team-mate Campese Ma’afu that it is a great club and hopefully I can help the Saints achieve success in the Aviva Premiership."