Rugby

Report: Munster Likely To Sign All Black World Cup Winner Malakai Fekitoa

Report: Munster Likely To Sign All Black World Cup Winner Malakai Fekitoa

It has been reported that Munster are set to sign All Blacks centre Malakai Fekitoa.

The Tonga-born centre was capped 24 times for the All Blacks, and last played for them in 2017 before signing with Toulon and then Wasps in 2019.

As is the case with many reports, The Rugby Paper were first to break the news.

Even if the signing falls through the link alone would indicate that the rumours of Damen De Allende’s departure from Munster might be true.

The elite South Africa 12 has been one of the province’s stand out players in the last season and a half, and rarely puts in an under par shift even if his team underperforms.

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It makes sense for Munster to sign at the very least an international class centre, and the 24 times capped All Black fits this criteria perfectly. He was part of the New Zealand squad that won the William Webb Ellis trophy in 2015 and also has eight tries for his country.

Wasps financial struggles have been highlighted in recent months, and if Fekitoa’s likely departure comes to pass he won’t be the only star leaving the Coventry based club.

All Black Vaea Fifita is reportedly moving to Scarlets in the URC, while ex-Leinster player Jimmy Gopperth is also set to leave.

The news caps off a successful weekend for Munster having beaten Ulster on Saturday despite being down a player for the majority of the game following Simon Zebo’s red card.

One man who stood out on Saturday was Rory Scannell, however he may not be too pleased with the Fekitoa news.

Despite putting in consistently strong performances over the last number of years, the home grown centre has been pushed out of the starting XV by the world class De Allende, and looks set for the same fate should Fekitoa sign.

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19 November 2016; Malakai Fekitoa of New Zealand goes over to score his side's first try despite the tackle of Jared Payne of Ireland during the Autumn International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

While this signing is obviously a positive move for Munster, fans will be hoping to see more investment in positions where they are especially weak.

While on paper the Munster second row situation looks strong, there are rumours that RG Snyman and Jason Jenkins will follow Johann Van Graan to Bath next season, and Munster’s front row also remains an area of weakness.

The old adage of ‘forwards win games, backs decide by how much’ still rings true to this day, and Fekitoa’s stint at Munster could be hampered, much like De Allende’s, if they do not invest properly up front and with their new coaching staff.

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