Newcastle Falcons have announced the signing of Bath Rugby winger Cooper Vuna on a two-year deal ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Vuna started his career in rugby league with New Zealand Warriors in 2004 and made a switched to Newcastle Knights in 2007. He also had three appearances for Tonga international side before switching code in 2011 when he made a mark for Melbourne Rebels.
The 32-year-old also had a stint for Japanese side Toshiba Brave Lupus before joining Worcester Warriors in 2015 and Bath Rugby in 2018. He started his international rugby union career with Australia in 2012 when he played a couple of Tests and moved to Tonga in 2016 making eight Test appearances for the Pacific Island team.
“The main things that attracted me to Newcastle were the attacking style of play that the Falcons are known for, and the chance to work with a quality director of rugby like Dean Richards and his coaches.
“I’ve played up at Kingston Park a few times, I know a few of the boys and I like the unpredictability they bring to the game. The move has come from out of nowhere, really, but as soon it was on the radar I knew it was a challenge I wanted to take up," he told the official website of the club.
“I’m mates with Tane Takulua and Sinoti Sinoti from our Pacific Nations Cup rugby, likewise with Darren Barry from our time at Worcester, but other than that I’m really looking forward to coming up to the North East and forging some new friendships.
“I’m still in the Tonga picture for the Rugby World Cup but because I’m still in the UK I’m going to come up to Newcastle next week for the start of pre-season, just to get a couple of weeks’ work in before I head off.
“We’ll have to see what happens in terms of who makes the final squad for the tournament, but I’m excited about starting with the Falcons and seeing what contribution I can make.
“We’ve obviously got one big hurdle this season in terms of earning promotion back into the Premiership, but if we can achieve that then the club is in really good shape for many years to come with the talent we have in the squad.”