NEWCASTLE FALCONS have signed Tongan second row Uili Kolo’ofai after their initial transfer target, Semisi Taulava, failed a medical.

Taulava’s proposed move from Worcester fell through after his medical revealed problems, so Falcons chiefs turned their attention to Kolo’ofai, who will move to Kingston Park from French club US Colomiers.

The powerful lock, who is 6ft 6in tall and weighs in at almost 19 stone, has signed a two-year deal and can also play in the back row.

Loading article content

Auckland-born, he began his career in New Zealand with Otago and also competed in Japan before moving to Europe.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Uili to the Falcons,” said director of rugby Dean Richards. “He is a versatile forward and I’m looking forward to him making a valuable contribution to the team’s performances next season.

“I like what I have seen of him to date and expect him to increase the competition for places in the second and back rows, which will in turn drive forward the standards within the squad.”