Super Rugby winning Fijian international back Asaeli Tikoirotuma has agreed to leave the Chiefs and play in England for Premiership Rugby club Harlequins.
Twenty-seven-year-old Tikoirotuma will join the London Club when his Super Rugby commitments to the Chiefs have completed at the end of the season.
Tikoirotuma was being targeted by a number of Rugby clubs in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere but he has now settled on playing for Harlequins.
The powerful back started his professional career in New Zealand playing with Wanganui in the Heartland Championship for five years, before making the move to ITM Cup club Manawatu in 2010.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, who was in charge at Manawatu at the time, brought Tikoirotuma to the Chiefs when he started coaching the franchise in 2012.The player, who has been part of the Chiefs team that has won the last two Super Rugby Titles, has made 33 appearances for the Chiefs and scored 11 tries.
Tikoirotuma made his international debut for Fiji during their end-of-year tour last year when he played at outside centre in all his country’s matches.
Announcing the signing, Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O’Shea said, “Asaeli is one of the most exciting backs in world rugby and we’re delighted that he has signed for us. He comes from a winning culture at the Chiefs, is equally at home on the wing or at centre and I am sure will fit seamlessly into the way we play here and add to the quality we already have.”
Commenting on his decision to move to London, Asaeli Tikoirotuma added, “After considering my next rugby move after some amazing years at the Chiefs, I am excited to be heading to Harlequins next season. I was impressed with the club’s facilities, the coaching staff and importantly the style of rugby they play. I look forward to settling in London with my family and really contributing to the success of Harlequins next season.”
Name: Asaeli Tikoirotuma Position: Wing / Centre International caps: Fiji (1) Date of Birth: 24.06.1986 Former Clubs: Waikato Chiefs, Manuatu, Wanganui Height: 1.87m (6′ 1″) Weight: 91kg (14st 5lbs)