Melbourne Rebels sign Crusaders winger Veainu

 The Melbourne Rebels have signed former Crusaders winger Telusa Veainu as a Developing Foreign Player on a two year deal ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

The 22 year old speedster will move to Melbourne following a brilliant start to the 2013 ITM Cup for Hawke’s Bay, which has seen him score four tries in just six games, including one in their victorious Ranfurly Shield challenge against Otago.

Veainu has been in scintillating form in recent matches, and wants to ensure he finishes the 2013 season on a high.

“I’m focused on performing well throughout the rest of the ITM Cup, and then moving over to Melbourne to join the Rebels,” said Kawakawa-born Veainu.

“The Rebels showed this year they are capable of competing with anybody. They defeated the Stormers and Waratahs, and had bonus point losses to the Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues.”

“They are a team on the rise and I am very excited about moving to Melbourne and being a part of this young Club.”

Rebels General Manager of Rugby, Sam Cordingley, said that the Club were delighted that they were able to convince Veainu to cross the Tasman.

“As a developing foreign player, we believe Telusa will develop into a player who is comfortable performing consistently at Super Rugby level,” Cordingley said.

“His record and try scoring ratio at ITM Cup level is outstanding, and we have no doubt he can translate that form onto the Super Rugby stage for our Members here in Melbourne.

“The international experience we have in our coaching department, and now playing roster, will hold us in great stead for 2014 and beyond, with many young Rebels already committing to the Club long term. As we continue to build an international Rugby program, Telusa is a great asset.”

Veainu moved to Napier for the ITM Cup this year after 21 tries over 34 games during three seasons at Canterbury, and is playing alongside fellow 2014 Rebel recruit Max Lahiff and departed Foundation Rebel Ged Robinson at the Magpies.

Veainu has made eight Super Rugby appearances for the Highlanders and Crusaders, scoring a memorable length of the field try in Dunedin for the Crusaders this year.

Veainu also scored a hat trick of tries as New Zealand defeated Australia in the final of the 2010 IRB World Championships in Argentina.

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