Leicester closing in on Fijian flyer
May 5, 2012
Vereniki Goneva on the charge for Fiji in the recent World Cup © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers are on the verge of bringing in Fijian winger Vereniki Goneva, according to reports.
The Tigers will lose Alesana Tuilagi and Horacio Agulla at the end of the season with Tuilagi departing to Japan and Agulla falling foul of the extended Rugby Championship. With Miles Benjamin and Adam Thompstone both believed to have signed for the Tigers, their director of rugby Richard Cockerill has claimed that they are on the verge of tying down Goneva.
The Fijian scored four tries against Namibia in the recent World Cup and is currently plying his trade in the French second division for Tarbes. Although Goneva is in the more physical mould of wingers, Cockerill has played down comparisons between him and the departing Tuilagi.
"We are in the process of getting that completed and it is pretty much done," Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury. "He is a Pacific Islander who is very quick and unpredictable.
"He can give you something out of nothing and we have seen that in some of the Test matches that he has played. I don't see him as a like-for-like with Alesana though.
"There is not a like-for-like replacement for Alesana. Only Napolioni Nalaga at Clermont is probably the only like-for-like replacement and we cannot spend 20% of the salary cap on one bloke!"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.