Experienced Samoan speedster Sailosi Tagicakibau has linked up with the DHL Stormers squad ahead of their four-game Vodacom Super Rugby tour of Australasia.
The powerfully-built Tagicakibau has spent the last eight European seasons with English Premiership club London Irish and he touched down in Cape Town on Thursday morning to join up with his new teammates on a loan deal for the remainder of the 2014 Super Rugby season.
Standing 1,94 metres tall and tipping the scales at a hefty 100 kilograms, Tagicakibau has played 21 Tests for Samoa – scoring seven tries in the process.
He has played over 150 games for London Irish, at both Premiership and Heineken Cup level, having also represented Counties Manukau, Taranaki and the Chiefs in his native New Zealand and the Barbarians and Pacific Islanders at international level.
DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “We’ve been looking for an experienced and strongly-built international wing for some time and Sailosi Tagicakibau fits the bill perfectly.
“We’ve done our research on him, having tracked his progress for some time now. We have also built up a good understanding with London Irish, after also loaning Jebb Sinclair from the club in 2012, and Sailosi comes highly recommended by (London Irish) Director of Rugby Brian Smith.
“Sailosi will be able to take in Friday night’s clash against the Hurricanes at DHL Newlands, whilst his experience of New Zealand and Australian conditions will be of great benefit to us on tour next month,” added Coetzee.
“I have no doubt that he will thrive in the DHL Stormers environment – much like Jebb did in 2012 – and also, in the process, share his many experiences of top-level rugby with the younger, home-grown players in our squad.”
Tagicakibau, 31, has played at three World Cups for Samoa (in 2003, 2007 and 2011), facing South Africa at the 2003 tournament in Brisbane (Australia).
The 27-man DHL Stormers squad – for their tour of New Zealand and Australia – will be announced on Saturday.