Mar 03, 2015
Gustard eager to link-up with ‘explosive’ Vunisa
Coach Paul Gustard believes new signing Samu Vunisa can have the same kind of impact back row star Billy Vunipola after it was announced the Italian international will be linking up with Saracens next season.
The Fijian born Italian loose forward will move to the club from Italian Pro12 side Zebre, and Gustard is hoping the physical flank forward can add an extra dimension to the Saracens squad.
Speaking about Saracens new signing, Gustard said: “He’s a very strong ball carrier – very explosive and pretty quick. We played against him when he was at Zebre, and he went 80 metres to score. He’s a big Fijian, weighs in at 120kg and hopefully will bring the same kind of exciting impact to the team that Billy Vunipola has.
“Samu has massive potential. Without being too disrespectful, he’s played in a lower league in the Pro12 in a team that has struggled, so we feel that we can get the best out of him physically and really maximise his undoubted ability.
“He’s really comfortable on the ball, he’s a strong ball carrier and is very good over the ball in the contact, as we have seen during his performances for Italy."
Gustard added: “I think he played seven in his first match for Italy, and he can play across the back row. We probably see him as a six or eight and he can try and dovetail with the likes of Billy (Vunipola), Kelly (Brown), Jackson (Wray) the all the other backrowers we have at the club. We’re very excited to see him at Saracens next season.”