Former Samoa flanker Maurie Fa’asavalu has confirmed that he will be completing a return to Harlequins Rugby Union after leaving St.Helens. Terms of the deal announced on Friday were not disclosed. The 30-year-old Fa’asavalu, recuperating from shoulder surgery in May, will join the London club in October.
After impressing for Samoa in 2002-03, including all four games at the Rugby World Cup in Australia, Fa’asavalu was lured by rugby league club St. Helens, which turned him into a prop.
He has played 164 games for St. Helens and qualified on residency for Britain, for which he scored on debut against New Zealand in 2007, and for England, for which he played three times in 2008.
“I have no doubt that he will be able to make an immediate impact on returning to union,” says Quins director of rugby Conor O’Shea. “He will bring experience and a new dimension to our options and is exactly the type of person we want at this club.”
Harlequins rugby director Conor O’Shea will sit down with rugby’s refereeing hierarchy this week to discuss what he considers to be an alarming trend this season of incorrect decisions by officials.
O’Shea was unhappy with some of the decision as his side won their final game of the season 32-20 against Sale.
O’Shea said: “I find it disappointing that our discipline was poor on a number of occasions. That has been a problem this season for us.”
He added: “But I find it amazing that so many big decisions are wrong this campaign. There were big decisions out there with which I disagreed and which made the game tighter than it needed to be.
“Was Tom Williams really in touch as he headed for the goal line? Should there not have been a yellow card before Mathew Tait set out to score. There are similar situations that come to mind from this season and while I know it is a really difficult job out there I think it is something that needs addressing.”
But overall O’Shea sees a bright future for the club he joined six weeks ago as the long-awaited successor to Dean Richards, currently serving a three-year ban following last season’s fake blood scandal.
Harlequins ended the Guinness Premiership season with a five-try, five-point victory which had all the elements of their campaign, a mixture of the superb and the very ordinary.
In the end, however, they fully deserved to wrap up the season with a victory – with late determination proving decisive. However, they failed to achieve their target of a top six finish.
For former champions Sale, a campaign spent fighting to stave off relegation can hardly be regarded as a successful season..
It was a special day for wing David Strettle and hooker Tani Fuga – both playing their final games for Harlequins. England wing Strettle is joining Saracens while Fuga has become a free agent.
The hosts lost lock James Percival after only two minutes. He was hurt in an open play tackle and left the field on a stretcher after three minutes treatment to be replaced by Tomas Vallejos.
But two minutes later the mood in the home camp was a lot lighter as George Lowe raced clear up the left to open the scoring in fine style with a try created for him by Jordan Turner-Hall. Fly-half Nick Evans missed the conversion.