Connacht Rugby have added another New Zealander to their squad. Irish qualified Apirana Pewhairangi joins the Westerners after switching codes from NRL side the New Zealand Warriors. The 23-year-old qualifies to Ireland through his grandmother who was born in Lucan, Co. Dublin.
Pewhairangi has actually already represented Ireland, when he played in the Rugby League World Cup in 2013. He played for Manawatu in New Zealand in rugby union as a youth before switching to rugby league playing for Wellington's Te Aroha Eels, Parramatta Eels and NZ Warriors.
Pewhairangi played centre in union before he switched, and is likely to provide cover for Connacht at 12 after their injury crisis from last season ruled out a number of inside centres. Speaking about his move to Connacht, Api Pewhairangi said:
I am proud to be returning to Ireland, my grandmother’s homeland. Joining Connacht is extremely exciting for me and I want to make a big impact.
Pewhairangi won't be the only new New Zealander in Galway, as he'll be joined by former Auckland openside flanker Nepia Fox Matamua has already signed for Connacht.
Pewhairangi wear jersey number 6 for the black and red in this video below for the Warriors, and looks like a good distributor and will make a good second five-eighth style inside centre for Connacht.