Pita Gus Sowakula to join Clermont on a two-year deal

Pita Gus Sowakula has played two times for New Zealand
Pita Gus Sowakula has played two times for New Zealand

Clermont have announced the signing of All Black back-rower Pita Gus Sowakula on a two-year deal ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Sowakula made his Test debut earlier in the year following an impressive outing for Chiefs in the Super Rugby Pacific and has two caps to his name.

Nevertheless, he was replaced by Shannon Frizell in the Rugby Championship squad and was also not included in the All Blacks XV squad picked later in the year.

Born in Fiji, he made his professional rugby debut with Taranaki in 2017 and played his first Super Rugby game for Chiefs in the following year. He has made close to 50 appearances for Chiefs until now.

Earlier, Taranaki coach Neil Barnes said Sowakula had every chance to reclaim a berth in the New Zealand squad if he continues to play in the Super Rugby but that now looks unlikely with his move to the French club.

“Yes, I do,” Barnes told Stuff.

“Every coach has their own opinions on what they want out of a player, and what they look for. For me, Pits has got a point of difference above other players.

“It is what he can do with the ball in hand, and his defence as well.

"If Pita Gus is playing Super, and playing at a really high level, he has got as good a chance as anyone else.”