Tofilau joins Edinburgh on one-year deal

Edinburgh Rugby can today confirm the signing of centre Sasa Tofilau [below: pic courtesy Craig Watson] on a one-year deal ahead of the 2016/17 season.

The powerful midfield player, who is adept at both inside and outside centre, received plaudits on the domestic circuit with some stellar performances for BT National League Division 2 side, Kirkcaldy, who he joined in October 2015.

Tofilau in action at Melrose 7s

Samoan born Tofilau, 21, said: “I’m really excited to be involved at the club and I’m grateful to the coaches for putting faith in me. Hopefully I can return the favour in the way I train and play.

“I am excited and a little bit nervous for pre-season, but I’m looking forward to getting started. It’s going to be tough, but I know it’s all going to help me adapt to the environment and push me to achieve my goals and dreams.”

Following his performances for the Fife club last season, he was soon invited to train with the capital outfit. He further bolstered his growing reputation with a fine performance in a training game against Scotland under-20 after being named to start at centre.

He said:

“My involvement with Edinburgh so far has brought so much to my game and made me realise how much of an opportunity I have ahead of me.

“I’m grateful, also, to Kirkcaldy. My time there taught me a lot, and they’re fully behind me in grabbing the opportunity, so I think it will be good for them to hopefully see one of their own pull on the shirt and do them proud this season.”

In March of this year, Tofilau was named by Roddy Grant in Edinburgh Rugby’s squad for Melrose Sevens, and cast himself into the public eye with four tries during the day. He crossed the whitewash to score the match-winning try in Edinburgh’s 29-19 victory over Jed-Forest, which secured the Ladies’ Cup for the men in black and red.

He continued: “I loved the experience of being able to play at Melrose Sevens.

“I was delighted and thankful to Roddy [Grant] for picking me in the squad, and it was great to be part of something so historic and prestigious.”

Head Coach Alan Solomons said: “We are delighted to welcome Sasa to the club.

“He is a talented young player, who has represented Australia at under 20 level

“I have no doubt he will make his mark at Edinburgh and look forward to working with him".

Edinburgh Rugby signings for the 2016/17 season

The signing of Tofilau brings the total to 29 player signings for next season, additional to those already committed to Edinburgh until the end of May 2017 and beyond. The list kicked off in early December 2015 with Scottish age grade back row Jamie Ritchie extending his contract for another three years. The coaching staff, led by Alan Solomons, recently announced their continued commitment into the new season.

Scotland internationalists

Kevin Bryce, Grant Gilchrist, Ross Ford, Tom Brown, Duncan Weir, Damien Hoyland, Stuart McInally, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Alasdair Dickinson and Ben Toolis 

Scottish qualified players

Nick Beavon, Lewis Carmichael, George Turner, Fraser McKenzie, Sean Kennedy, Nathan Fowles, Glenn Bryce, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Neil Cochrane, Chris Dean and Jamie Ritchie

Non-Scottish qualified signings for 2016/17

Sasa Tofilau,  Alex Northam, Jason Tovey, Solomoni Rasolea, Rory Scholes, Phil Burleigh and Cornell Du Preez