Former Chiefs winger signs deal with Stormers

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 13:09 28/02/2014
Sailosi Tagicakibau
WELCOME RETURN: Former Chiefs wing Sailosi Tagicakibau is returning to Super Rugby in a loan deal with the Stormers.
Sailosi Tagicakibau

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Former Chiefs wing Sailosi Tagicakibau is returning to Super Rugby with the Stormers and is set to debut for the South African franchise on their Australasian tour.

The 31-year-old Samoan international played was schooled in New Zealand and played eight games for the Chiefs in 2005 before joining London Irish where he became a mainstay of their backline, playing 157 games.

Now the Stormers, desperate to add some size to their outside backs, have lured the 1.93m, 100kg Tagicakibau to Cape Town on a loan deal with London Irish.

He won't be involved in tomorrow's clash with the Hurricanes at Newlands but is expected to be on the plane with the squad for their four-week tour where they play the Crusaders, Chiefs, Brumbies and Reds.

Tagicakibau, a former Taranaki player and Samoan Sevens star, has played at the last three Rugby World Cups.

London Irish director of rugby, Brian Smith felt his club had the depth to cover Tagicakibau's absence and was happy for him to get game time in Super Rugby again.

"I signed Losi to London Irish back in 2005 and he has gone on to be one of the best wingers in the Premiership during that period," Smith said on the London Irish website.

"He has been an outstanding servant for our club and he's asked for the chance to go and join the Stormers for their Super Rugby campaign. We have a lot of options in our back three currently, so we can afford to let him go to Cape Town to continue to play regular rugby.

"We have a good relationship with Robbie Fleck, the backs coach at the Stormers, so we know Losi will be in good hands. Jebb Sinclair went down there on loan for a season and came back a better player. We hope it goes well for Losi too."

Meanwhile, Glasgow have signed United States sevens star Carlin Isles, dubbed rugby union's "fastest man", subject to visa and a medical, the Scottish club announced today.

The 24-year-old Isles is a former track athlete and his best 100m time of 10.13s would have seen him qualify for the semifinals of the 2012 London Olympics.

He was trialled by the Detroit Lions NFL team but saw sevens as a way to play football and also have a shot at the Olympics.

Now he has progressed to the 15-man game in a professional capacity.

"I can't wait to fly over to Glasgow and join up with my new team-mates," Isles said in a club statement.

"Everything has happened so quickly for me over the last couple of years and I'm just happy to be playing rugby and getting the opportunity to play at the highest level.

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"I hope to score tries for the Warriors, but I also want to continue to try and help grow the game and encourage young players to take up rugby.

"It's very exciting to be moving to the 15-a-side game. It's a lot different to sevens but I want to work hard and do everything I can to succeed.

"I'm up for the challenge, I've been doing a lot of challenges in my life so this is just another obstacle and I'm ready to take it on."

- Fairfax Media

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