Tuatagaloa finds club home in U.K.
Belgium Tuatagaloa, the winger who famously sacrificed a lucrative club contract for a chance to wear the Manu Samoa jersey, is back at the top of club rugby after signing with British outfit London-Irish.
The 30-year-old winger has signed to a one-year deal for the club, which plays in the top Gallagher Premiership division.
Tuatagaloa famously turned his back on a contract with French club Valence Romans in order to make his bid for a spot in the Manu Samoa World Cup team by making his debut for the Manu in the Pacific Nations Cup campaign.
The new signing was announced on Christmas Eve but there will be little time for him to acclimatise for the move to the club, which is based in the British city of Reading.
The team's director of rugby, Declan Kidney said: “Belgium is a good addition to our squad and will get his chance to wear the London Irish jersey for the first time in the Premiership Rugby Shield fixture against Harlequins this evening," he said.
In the evening's fixture, Tuatagaloa made an impact on debut minutes after coming off the bench in the second half, crossing over the tryline in the team's ultimate 38-14 victory over the sixth placed Harlequins.
Prior to Tuesday's win London Irish had previously been languishing in ninth place on the premiership table, six games into the season.
Tuatagoloa has previously played provincial rugby in New Zealand for Wellington and Canterbury and represented the Manu four times on the international stage, including in one clash during the recent World Cup in Japan.
He has also represented Samoa and New Zealand in the sevens form of the game.