Rugby Union

Newcastle Falcons sign Tuilagi brothers

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Alesana spent eight years at Leicester Tigers before moving to Wales (©GettyImages)
Alesana spent eight years at Leicester Tigers before moving to Wales (©GettyImages).

Two of the Tuilagi brothers will be joining the ranks of Newcastle Falcons next year, after signing two-year deals with the North East club.

33 year-old Alesana will be arriving from Japanese side NTT Shining Arcs, whilst Anitelea, 27, will leave Pro 12 team Newport Gwent Dragons.

Both, who play on the wing or at centre, have previous experience in the Aviva Premiership, having played for Leicester Tiger where their youngest brother - England international Manu - currently plays.

Alesana spent eight years at the club, winning three Premiership titles in his time before moving to Japan in 2012.

Anitelea’s stint with the Tigers was much shorter, with the player spending just one year at Welford Road.

However, following a spell at Leeds Carnegie, where he helped to win promotion to the Premiership, he moved to Sale Sharks in 2008. After three years and 28 games for the Sharks, Anitelea headed to Wales.

The brothers are both Samoan internationals, with Alesana having played 29 times for his country and his brother having won 10 caps for the Polynesian nation.

At Newcastle, they will be coached by a former Leicester Tigers legend in director of rugby Dean Richards.

He told BBC Sport: “Alesana and Anitelea are quality acquisitions, and have bags of experience at the very highest level.They have physicality and pace, which is what you need to be successful.”

The signing of these two is a big statement of intent for the Kingston Park club, with both offering plenty of experience as well as a powerful physical presence on the pitch.

Newcastle have struggled in their first season back in the Aviva Premiership, managing just 11th place - one above relegated Worcester Warriors.

The Falcons do not have the best of records in England’s top tier of rugby, having not finished higher than sixth since the turn of the century.
Yet

Alesana is still pleased with his return to English rugby.

“I’m extremely excited at the prospect of returning to the Premiership with Newcastle,” the 33-year-old Samoan told BBC Sport.

“Newcastle is a big club with huge potential, and under Dean Richards there is an exciting vision for rugby in the North East which I want to be a part of.”

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Topics:
Aviva Premiership
Newcastle Falcons
Rugby Union
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