Saints have announced the signing of Fijian international prop Campese Ma’afu.
The 31-year-old, younger brother of Salesi Ma’afu, who spent two seasons at Saints before departing for Toulon last summer, joins with immediate effect.
Campese Ma’afu is primarily a loosehead but can also cover at tighthead and hooker, bolstering his new club’s front row options.
He represented Fiji at the World Cup and is no stranger to the east midlands, having spent two years in the Championship with Nottingham.
He has also represented Cardiff Blues, and Saints boss Jim Mallinder is delighted with the acquisition.
“Campese will add to our experience in one of the most important positions on the field,” Mallinder said.
“He has played at the highest international level at two Rugby World Cups, and he will give us options, both for the rest of this season and in years to come.
“We were impressed by how he played in the World Cup earlier in the season, especially against England at Twickenham.”
Ma’afu, who was a regular in the stands at Franklin’s Gardens when elder brother Salesi was helping the Saints win the Aviva Premiership title and finish top of the league table, says that he cannot wait to play in front of the club’s supporters.
“Northampton is going to be a great club to be a part of,” Ma’afu said.
“During my time at Nottingham and when Salesi was here I was at quite a lot of the home games. There’s a great atmosphere here, and I hope I’ve got a lot to offer to the team.
“Playing in the Aviva Premiership was a goal for me as soon as I moved to the northern hemisphere.
“Now that I’ve been blessed with this opportunity with the Saints it’s something I really want to do my best at.
“I know there’s big competition for the jersey. The Waller brothers are both quality looseheads, and it’s going to be good competition for me to play alongside a good bunch of boys.”