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Fetuli Paea signs with Highlanders

Dunedin, New Zealand

Fetuli Paea. Photo: Tonga Rugby Sevens.

Former Crusaders’ utility back Fetuli Paea (26) has signed with the Highlanders in Dunedin.

The two-test Tongan international has inked a two-year deal, the team confirmed on September 9.

The Otago Daily Times reported that Paea debuted for Tasman last year and was part of its unbeaten Mitre 10 Cup Premiership-winning side.

That came after being named the province’s club player of the year.

At the international level he has played two tests for Tonga against Spain and Romania in 2016 and 2017, while also playing Sevens for the country.

Paea, who can play both centre and wing, joins follow former Crusader Billy Harmon in heading south for next season.

He is excited to be going down to the Highlanders after my Mitre 10 Cup season with Tasman.

"It’s a great new challenge and awesome opportunity that will help grow my rugby career further."

Highlanders assistant coach Tony Brown said the team hoped to help Paea grow as a player.

"We are excited to secure someone of Fetuli’s ability for the next two years and are looking forward to helping him develop into a world-class player."