Tonga international Atieli ‘Afa’ Pakalani has joined Leicester Tigers.
The 25-year-old Pakalani can play at full-back and wing, and arrives in Leicester after previous experience with Auckland in New Zealand and in Super Rugby with the Waratahs, making his debut there as a teenager in 2011.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) September 20, 2017
A former captain of Tonga Under-20s and a member of Australia’s Sevens programme during 2014, Pakalani won his first Test caps with Tonga against Pacific rivals Fiji and Samoa in the summer of 2017.
Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor, who already has Tonga internationals Telusa Veainu, Sione Kalamafoni and Valentino Mapapalangi at the club, said: “Afa is a good player in the back three, he has played his first Test rugby this year and he is a good age profile for us.
“We’ve been looking for a bit of depth in our backline options and we look forward to working with him.”
Front row duo Kyle Traynor and Jake Kerr have also officially signed for the club.
Loosehead prop Traynor and hooker Kerr worked with the squad during pre-season and had gametime in the build-up to the new campaign, with Traynor also playing in the opening weeks of the Premiership ‘A’ League season.
Traynor, 31, won the first of his dozen Scotland caps in 2009. He moved from Edinburgh to Bristol ahead of the 2012/13 season and was part of their Aviva Premiership squad last season before teaming up with the Tigers.