Fixtures - Top Bar

Tongan powerhouse Opeti Fonua joins Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons have completed the signing of Tonga and Leicester Tigers back-row forward Opeti Fonua.

The 30-year-old, capped 11 times by Tonga, stands at 6 foot 5 and weighs 135kg, his destructive running delivering five tries in 21 Aviva Premiership appearances over the past two seasons. Touching down a further 11 times in his 21 European outings, Fonua arrived in England after seven seasons with French clubs Agen and Bayonne.
 
Making his international debut in 2009, the back-row man played for Tonga during Rugby World Cup 2015 and was involved in this year’s June internationals, scoring in his last two tests against Georgia and Samoa.
 
He joins fellow Tongan internationals Nili Latu, Sonatane Takulua and Taione Vea in the Falcons’ squad, director of rugby Dean Richards saying: "Opeti is a big physical specimen who will cause a lot of trouble for defences.
 
"He strung together a good series of appearances for Leicester at the end of last season as well as featuring strongly for Tonga during their summer international programme, and he is already up here training with us.
 
"Through our network of Tongan international players we have been able to get a good picture of Opeti, both from a playing and a character standpoint.
 
"He gives us a different dimension, he is already experienced in Premiership rugby and he is looking good. We look forward to seeing the contribution he will make to our team and I am sure our supporters will enjoy his very direct approach."
 
Speaking from Kingston Park Stadium, Fonua said: "It is an honour to be joining Newcastle Falcons, and I hope I can play a big part in lifting the club.
 
"Things are in place for the Falcons to have a big year, and the fact that many of Tonga’s best players are already in the squad here was a big part in my decision. I have been up here for a few days already to get things sorted, and I have been impressed by the boys and the set-up."
 
Newcastle Falcons opened their pre-season account last weekend with a 50-12 win over Nottingham, and are in action on Saturday when Greene King IPA Championship finalists Doncaster Knights visit Kingston Park Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
 

Latest News

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones