WARRIORS have made Tonga international number eight Sione Vailanu their latest signing for the 2021/22 season.
Vailanu, 26, will arrive at Sixways on a two-year contract from Wasps where he has spent two seasons following a season-and-a-half with Saracens.
As well as Gallagher Premiership experience, Vailanu has won seven caps for Tonga – the most recent in the victory over Canada in August 2019 – and scored two tries for his country.
“Sione is really powerful and explosive. I have been an admirer of him as a player from his time with Saracens and since he joined Wasps,” said Warriors’ Head Coach Jonathan Thomas.
“It’s an opportunity for him to make a real difference to us. In the Premiership to be successful you need to have physical and powerful men and Sione is certainly that.
“The way he plays lends itself to what we are trying to achieve with our game moving forward.”
Vailanu had four years playing sevens rugby for Asahi University in Japan and was spotted by Saracens while playing for Samurai in the Hong Kong Tens in 2017.
“I’m extremely excited to have signed for Warriors and am looking forward to joining up with the club ahead of next season,” Vailanu said.
“I know that Alan Solomons and JT have ambitions for Warriors to become a sustainable top six Premiership club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their objectives.”
Vailanu is the second Wasps player Warriors have recruited for next season, following tighthead prop Jack Owlett.
They join Scotland international wing Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), England scrum-half Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby), Wales hooker Scott Baldwin (Harlequins), scrum-half Will Chudley and tighthead prop Christian Judge (Bath Rugby) as newcomers in the squad for next season with back-row forward/lock Kyle Hatherell having already arrived from Jersey Reds.
“We are really pleased to have Sione join us here at Sixways,” said Director of Rugby Alan Solomons.
“He is an experienced, powerful, ball-carrying number eight who will add huge value to the team.
“He is also a very likeable character who we all look forward to welcoming to the club and working with.”