Connacht have signed Fiji international back row Nualia Dawai on a two-year deal.

The 29-year-old joins the province on the back of three seasons with NPC side Otago in New Zealand. He was capped for Fiji for the first time in June 2016, starting tests against Tonga, Samoa and Georgia.

Dawai moved to New Zealand in 2011 to play club rugby with Southland. In 2014 he switched to Otago and last year scored three tries against Auckland, becoming only the fourth player in NPC history to score a hat trick at Eden Park.

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"Naulia is an exciting addition to the Connacht Rugby squad as he brings X-factor to our hard-working forward pack,” said Connacht head coach Pat Lam.

“He can play across the back row, which is a great boost to our options up front and also provides vital depth and competition in those positions.”

Lam also revealed that he talked to Otago head coach Cory Brown, a former Connacht coach and a friend of his, before making the signing.

"We're all looking forward to welcoming Naulia and his family to Connacht in the next few weeks and bringing him up to speed on everything on and off the pitch," he added.

Speaking from New Zealand, Dawai said: "From speaking to Pat and watching the Connacht games, I am excited by the type of rugby being played and I hope I can come over and add something as well.”

Connacht are in the midst of what seems to be their annual chronic injury-crisis so Dawai will add some depth to their stretched squad.

They start their European Champions Cup campaign on Saturday with a daunting home tie with French giants Toulouse.