Bristol sign Junior player from Chiefs

Bristol Rugby have bolstered their midfield resources for next season with the signing of Samoan centre Junior Fatialofa from Exeter Chiefs.

Fatialofa plays his final game for the Chiefs on Saturday as they look to clinch second place in National League Division One behind champions Northampton Saints having made his club debut against Nottingham in October 2004.

He has spent the past four seasons with the Devon side following a half season spell with Penzance & Newlyn as they were then known.

Junior originally joined the Cornish side as temporary cover for his injured older brother Mark and the pair then signed for the Chiefs after the 2003-4 season.

A product of Wellington College which also produced All Blacks Filo Tiatia and Neemia Tiatia, he is a player well known to Bristol supporters who will have noted his physical presence in the games in which he featured against Bristol in their two seasons in Division One.

At 27 years old, he is just coming into his prime as a centre and his powerful play is something that Bristol Head Coach Richard Hill feels will be a welcome addition to the Bristol squad.

“Perhaps the nicest thing I can say about Junior is that we never used to like playing against him in Division One. He’s a very physical player, who has that typical Islander approach to defence, but is also capable of punching big holes through the midfield. He will help to get us over the gain line and moving forward.”

“He’s been a very fine player now for several seasons in Division One and we feel that he is more than capable of making the step up to Premiership level and that he will be a very important part of our squad next season.”

“We’re delighted to have clinched his signing and look forward to welcoming him to Bristol.”

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