Connacht’s new flanker comes with rich pedigree

Connacht has signed a new backrow forward from New Zealand to replace the Ulster-bound Willie Faloon.

    Nepia Fox-Matumua, who has played ITM Cup rugby with Auckland, has signed a two year deal with the province. 

 The 23-years-old, who has worked under Connacht head coach Pat Lam in the Auckland academy, is primarily an openside flanker who has also played Sevens rugby.

 Fox-Matumua, who made his debut for Auckland in 2012, is the great grandson of George Nepia, one of the most famous Maori rugby players who was the All Black fullback on the 1924 touring team to England that became known as the Invincibles. 

Lam says the New Zealander possesses natural ball skills that have seen him excel in Sevens, in addition to having excellent leadership qualities.

 "He is a great team man and has captained different sides in his young career," says Lam.

  "With Willie Faloon returning to Ulster, another quality openside was needed for next season's squad."  

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