Rupeni Caucaunibuca signs with French club

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 07:01 23/07/2014
Rupeni Caucaunibuca
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OFF TO FRANCE: Rupeni Caucaunibuca.

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Rugby enigma Rupeni Caucaunibuca, the Fijian wing who starred for Northland and the Blues, has signed a fresh contract with French club Agen at the age of 34 for "one last challenge".

Agen confirmed his arrival today, signalling a return to a club where he scored 65 tries in 106 games between 2004-09.

They were Caucaunibuca's glory years on the back of some sensational form in New Zealand.

But attitude and fitness worries - he ballooned to 120kg at one stage - have plagued him since.

He has even been dubbed "the best there never was", playing just seven tests for Fiji despite his enormous talent. Irish star Brian O'Driscoll rated him the third most dangerous player he had faced behind All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu and Wallabies great Tim Horan.

"I wanted to return to Agen in France because it's my club, the club of my heart with who I want to pull off one last challenge," Caucaunibuca told a media conference today.

"I do not fear competition. The team plays very well and I want to show that a 34-year-old can still do beautiful things. I'll try to bring my experience."

Agen operated in the French second division and were desperate to return to the Top 14 League. They firmly believed Caucaunibuca could help their cause and stressed he had passed all of their medical and fitness tests.

He has been plagued by knee problems in recent years.

Last season he returned to New Zealand's NPC, playing three matches for Northland where he burst to prominence in 2001-03.

Caucaunibuca would have to compete with two other Fijian players, Viliame Waqaseduadua and Laitia Tagotago, and Canadian international Taylor Paris for a wing position at Agen.

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