Vainikolo changes rugby codes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vainikolo changes rugby codes

17/05/2007 03:50:53 AM Comments (0)

Former New Zealand rugby league international Lesley Vainikolo has switched codes to sign a three-year deal with English rugby union club Gloucester.

The former Canberra Raiders winger, who was granted an early release from his current contract with Super League club Bradford Bulls, will join Wallabies hooker Jeremy Paul at Gloucester next season.

"Lesley has the ability to ignite a crowd and we have a crowd just waiting for a match to be thrown on them. I think it is fantastic," Gloucester director of rugby Dean Ryan said.

"He is a superstar in league and I hold every confidence he can translate that across into union."

Nicknamed "The Volcano," Tongan-born Vainikolo can apply for a British passport next year, but has not yet committed to playing for England or Tonga at international level.

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