Fixtures - Top Bar

Tongan powerhouse Opeti Fonua joins Newcastle Falcons

OFonua-Falcons-1108

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

Anthony Watson targets England jersey ahead of Bath Rugby return

Anthony Watson is a man on a mission for club and country in 2017, hell-bent on regaining his England shirt ahead…

anthonywatson16sb1111theclash

Bristol Rugby skipper David Lemi returns for Pau clash

David Lemi returns as skipper when Bristol Rugby face Pau in the European Challenge Cup on Sunday (3pm KO). Only…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Will Spencer and Connor Braid set for Worcester Warriors debuts

Worcester Warriors duo Will Spencer and Connor Braid will make their club debuts this Saturday when they take on Newport…

carlhogg1111sb1617

Exeter Chiefs side to face Bordeaux Begles

Nothing less than victory will suffice for Rob Baxter and his Exeter Chiefs side ahead of Sunday’s European Champions Cup…

Jack Nowell in last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena Wallaby signing Kurtley Beale…

Kurtley Beale will make his Wasps debut in the Champions Cup

England quartet return for Saracens European clash with Sale Sharks

Saracens have named their side to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round three of the European Rugby Champions Cup clash…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Harlequins team to play Timisoara Saracens

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Timisoara Saracens in Round 3 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Leicester Tigers team news for European Champions Cup trip to Ireland

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs return to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's European Champions Cup trip to face Munster…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks name side to face Saracens in European Rugby Champions Cup

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Saturday (kick off…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Ewels and Stooke back for Bath Rugby

Charlie Ewels and Elliott Stooke both return to the Bath Rugby starting line-up tomorrow when they face Cardiff Blues in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fisher hails ‘outstanding’ Gloucester Rugby after La Rochelle win

Gloucester Rugby ran in four tries as they romped to an impressive European Rugby Challenge Cup win over La Rochelle,…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Shervington re-joins Wasps on short-term contract

Edd Shervington has signed a three-month contract with the club to provide cover at hooker, following injuries to Tom Cruse…

Edd Shervington

Dean Hammond – We’ll play a positive brand of rugby

Winger Dean Hammond insists Worcester Warriors will play a positive brand of rugby as they prepare for Saturday's European Challenge…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Premiership Rugby clubs in Europe live on TV

Aviva Premiership Rugby’s finest return to European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action this weekend looking to build on…

tvrelease1111

Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…

629845781DM00026_Saracens_v

Sam Egerton ready for fierce Lyon challenge

Scrum-half Sam Egerton believes Newcastle Falcons can push on and meet ‘fire with fire’ against Lyon in the European Rugby…

Sam Egerton making a break against Ospreys in the Challenge Cup

Geoff Parling: Chiefs can draw European inspiration from last season’s heroics

Following two defeats from two, qualification for the European knock-out stages may look like mission improbable – but if there’s…

666709985_ht_1936_5ffe036790f2651d04cf02d772136916.jpg

Aaron Morris desperate for Quins to sort out away form

Aaron Morris is proud of Harlequins’ record at the Stoop but the full-back has warned his teammates the season will…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fenton-Wells confident Lam will make impact at Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby flanker Nick Fenton-Wells is confident the club have acquired a top coach in Pat Lam but won’t let…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library