/ Rugby

Leinster swoop to sign Nacewa

Updated: Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008 11:35

Leinster boss Michael Cheika has ensured the arrival of Isa Nacewa next season
Leinster boss Michael Cheika has ensured the arrival of Isa Nacewa next season

Leinster have announced that one of Auckland Blues' most versatile backs, Isa Nacewa, will play his rugby with the province next season.

The 25-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Leinster and will move to Ireland later this year at the conclusion of his contractual obligations in New Zealand.

Nacewa admitted the decision to leave Auckland was a tough one, but he is looking forward to the move. He said: 'I really enjoy playing for the Blues and Auckland but am very aware I have to make the most of my playing career while I can.

'All of us in this game know it is for a finite time-period so it really comes down to making smart decisions short and long-term.

'Having a shot at the All Blacks was and will continue to be my long-term goal. But the reality is that's not an option for me right now, so I have to get on with my career,' he insisted.

At the 2003 World Cup, a 21-year-old Nacewa was called into the Fiji squad and spent two minutes on the field. At the time he had no idea this would render him ineligible to ever play for New Zealand.

Commenting on Nacewa's arrival, Leinster coach Michael Cheika said: 'We are delighted that Isa has agreed to commit his future to Leinster. Isa has a wealth of experience at Super 14 level and he is an exciting player with a strong work ethic and I am confident that he will fit into the culture of the province.

'Isa is a top class attacking player whose versatility as either a midfield or back three player makes him a threat as an out and out try scorer, as well as a playmaker in his own right.

'He will add great depth to our backline for next year and he will also increase our kicking options. He will be a great addition to our squad and we look forward to his arrival in the summer.'

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