St Helens sign Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama

Kevin Naiqama
Kevin Naiqama

Super League leaders St Helens have pulled off a major coup in the capture of Fiji's World Cup captain Kevin Naiqama.

Saints say the 29-year-old outside back will join them on a three-year contract from 2019 and will be an addition to rather than a replacement for Australian full-back Ben Barba, who is much sought after in the NRL after taking Super League by storm in 2018.

Saints chairman Eamonn McManus said: "Kevin represents another top-class addition to an already quick, skilful and exciting Saints backline.

"Super League will also benefit greatly from his signing."

Naiqama played for St George Illawarra, Newcastle Knights and Penrith before joining the Tigers in 2015 and has so far scored 31 tries in 79 appearances for them.

He also played for Fiji in the 2013 World Cup in England and took his total of caps to 14 when he led them to the semi-finals last November.

St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook said: "Kevin is a great coup for the club and we're really looking forward to having him on board next season.

"He has a wealth of experience in the NRL and, as current captain of Fiji, will bring leadership to our side.

"He's lightning quick too, with great hands, and can finish from all over the park."

Naiqama, whose older brother Wes played for London Broncos in 2015 and 2016, said: "I am really looking forward to getting over to St Helens for the next three years.

"I love the fact the club is family orientated and the fact they are successful. They are one of the top teams who are always competing and that is appealing to me.

"The thought of winning a Super League Grand Final or Challenge Cup would be unreal and I feel I can do that with the Saints and the squad they have.

"I have a lot to offer; I am a versatile player who can play on the left or right and I still feel I am learning too.

"I don't feel I have reached the pinnacle of my football yet and St Helens can help me do that. I feel they can bring more football out of me defensively and with the ball in hand."

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