Edinburgh sign Fijian prop Atalifo
Edinburgh have today secured the signing of Fijian international tighthead prop Lee-Roy Atalifo, who will join the club next season.
Atalifo, 31, has won 13 caps for the Flying Fijians and makes the move to the Scottish capital following three seasons at English Championship side, Jersey Reds.
On signing with Edinburgh Rugby, Atalifo, said: “I’m honoured to be joining Edinburgh Rugby.
“The move represents a great opportunity for me to be part of such a historic club. I’m excited to do able to continue doing what I love and to test myself against the very best in the Guinness PRO14 as well as on the European stage.
“I’m looking forward to making the move with my family and meeting my new teammates before starting what will no doubt be a very tough pre-season. To be able to represent such a wonderful city will be a real honour.”
Head Coach Richard Cockerill, added: “Lee-Roy is a quality tighthead who will fit in well with the culture that we have built here within the club.
“He has shown at international level that he can perform at the highest level and he’ll bring plenty of experience and physicality to our front-row.”
Born in Rotuma, Fiji, Atalifo graduated with an Engineering Degree before working as a firefighter with Fiji’s National Fire Authority.
The tighthead made his international debut against the Cook Islands in June 2014 before being named in the Fiji squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup where he featured in three pool matches against Canada, Wales and Uruguay.
Following a short spell with Italian club Rugby Roviga Delta – where he won the Eccellenza title - the Fijian returned East to New Zealand where he penned a deal with Canterbury ahead of the 2016-17 Mitre 10 Cup.
Atalifo made four appearances at AMI Stadium before joining Jersey Reds ahead for the 2017-18 campaign.
In three seasons with The Islanders, Atalifo has so far featured in 60 matches - scoring two tries in the process – with the Reds currently sitting in seventh place in the Championship.
Atalifo was selected in the Fiji squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan where he came off the bench in two pool stages fixtures against Uruguay and Georgia and now joins fellow Fijians Viliame Mata, Eroni Sau and Mesulame Kunavula at the capital club.