Aviva Premiership: Saracens move a massive honour, says Vunisa

Italian international back-row forward looking forward to swapping the Guinness PRO12 for the English rugby

Samuela Vunisa believes joining English club Saracens next summer is a massive honour.

It’s going to be a big experience, and it’s a great challenge and I can’t wait to start a fresh chapter in the UK for such a big club.

Samuela Vunisa

The Fiji-born Italian international will swap the Guinness PRO12 with Zebre Rugby for the Aviva Premiership with last season’s finalists this summer ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Former Taranaki and Calvisano versatile back-row forward joined Zebre in 2013 and the 26-year-old and despite playing age-grade rugby for Fiji and has gone on to make three appearances for the Azzurri after qualifying on residency grounds after three years in the country.

“I’m really looking forward to the move,” Vunisa told the Saracens website.

“I’ve heard lot of good things about Saracens, about how they treat their players and how strong a side they are.

“Last season they got to two finals and played some fantastic rugby.

“I’m really looking forward to linking up with such a strong squad and hopefully, improving as a player in a new environment.

“It’s going to be a big experience, and it’s a great challenge and I can’t wait to start a fresh chapter in the UK for such a big club.

“It’s a massive honour and a great opportunity for me and my family.”

His senior international debut for Italy came against South Africa in November, before coming off the bench against England at Twickenham in the RBS 6 Nations last month and in Italy’s dramatic 22-19 win over Scotland at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

Mark McCall, Saracens’ director of rugby, believes that Vunisa has made an impression in his performances for Italy.

“Samu has clearly made a strong impression in his appearances for Italy and his strong running and ball carrying ability are valuable assets in the modern game,” McCall said.

“We look forward to welcoming him and his wife to the club in July.”

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