Aviva Premiership
London Irish deal for Sa hits a snag
ESPN Staff
September 12, 2012
Setaimata Sa won't be in London Irish colours any time soon © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Brian Smith
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

London Irish boss Brian Smith claims that Setaimata Sa's arrival at the Aviva Premiership club could be delayed until next season.

Sa's signing was announced back in May but Smith claims that a change in visa rules means that his arrival at the Madejski Stadium may be pushed back to next year. Sa was originally expected to join his new side in December after the end of his commitments with the Catalan Dragons but that now seems unlikely.

"There are some issues that we are going to be able to control and some we aren't," Smith told BBC Berkshire. "He has his commitments with the Catalan Dragons until November.

"We weren't expecting him until December at any rate. There are one of two complications in terms of new government regulations that have turned things on their head over the past six months or so. We are working our way through those and when we have a bit more clarity we will let you know whether we have problems.

"He was not due to arrive for another six weeks, we are cracking on with the players we've got. We've got immense respect for his skills and talent and he would fit in very well here. But we need to be flexible with our thinking and make sure we've got all our bases covered."

Despite the seemingly pessimistic outlook for Sa's transfer, Smith is still confident that it will happen. "It's just a matter of timing," Smith said. "Best case scenario he is here with us by Christmas, worst case scenario we jump through the new hoops and regulations and he will be with us for next year at some point. That could be later in the season or the start of next but I'm very confident he will be with us."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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