Feb 08, 2017
In Focus: Saracens new signing Fa’atiga Lemalu
Saracens announced today that Samoa international forward Fa’atiga Lemalu has joined Saracens on a short-term deal.
Lemalu will link up with the English and European Champions from Super Rugby side Sunwolves with immediate effect after the club as Saracens bolster their lock-forward stocks after the injury to George Kruis.
Here, we take a look at the latest man to join the club…
- 27-year old lock forward, Fa’atiga Lemalu was named as Samoan vice-captain in 2016. He has won 18 caps since making his debut against Tonga. He missed out on 2015 Rugby World Cup selection due to injury
- Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Lemalu was a leading light at De La Salle College in the South of the City. The College is a production line for Rugby players of both codes, with former All Black legend Sir John Kirwin their most notable alumni. Clermont back and former All Black Isaia Toeava studied there, as did former Bath lock Jonny Fa'amatuainu - dual-code star Lesley Vainikolo (Bradford Bulls and Gloucester) also spent time at the school. Ex-Kiwi RL captain Motu Tony, Super League starts Henry Fa’afilli (Warrington Wolves), George Carmont, Jeff Lima (both Wigan) and current NRL Dally M Medal winner Jason Taumalolo of the North Queensland Cowboys also attended the prestigious rugby school.
- Lemalu has faced a number of players currently in the Saracens set-up. Most recently in the autumn international series of 2014, he lined-up against Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell, George Kruis and Richard Wigglesworth for Samoa at Twickenham and has faced Scotland trio of Kelly Brown, Jim Hamilton and Duncan Taylor in South Africa in the summer of 2013. In Super Rugby, Fa’atiga has locked horns with Schalk Burger when the Sunwolves faced Stormers.
- Fa’atiga follows in the footsteps of Samoan internationals Census Johnston, brother James Johnston and Kas Lealamanua as fully-fledged Samoan internationals to have played for Saracens.
- Lemalu has spent the majority of his career in Japan with the Munakata Sanix Blues in the Japanese ‘Top League’ and latterly with the Sunwolves in Super Rugby.