By Gareth James
Pontypridd head coach Justin Burnell believes Nikola Matawalu can set the Premiership alight this season.
Pontypridd RFC announced the signing of Fijian star Nikola Matawalu as player/skills coach from French Top 14 side Racing 92.
Having set the Pro 14 alight at Glasgow Matawalu is sure to have a big impact on the Indigo Premiership.
The 33-year-old who can play scrum-half or wing has had a glittering career and lists Glasgow Warriors and Bath amongst some of his former clubs as well as winning 41 international caps for Fiji.
𝗡𝗶𝗸𝗼𝗹𝗮 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗹𝘂 𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝘀 ✍️
We are delighted to announce the signing of Fiji international star Nikola Matawalu from French Top 14 side Racing 92 🔥🔥
Welcome to Sardis Road, Niko 🤝
🗞𝙍𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙩🔗👉https://t.co/FucpGndg1Y#WeArePonty ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/k9bw8jCafT
— Pontypridd RFC (@PontypriddRFC) August 31, 2022
Reacting to Matawalu joining Pontypridd, Head Coach Justin Burnell said: “This is another fantastic example of Pontypridd RFC and USW once again working hand in hand to enable a professional rugby player who has decided to concentrate on his career after rugby.
Matawalu will be studying alongside his duties at Pontypridd and his quality and experience is sure to help the young talent coming through at Pontyrpidd and the University of South Wales.
Burnell added: “Niko will be studying BSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and Performance and will become a part time player/skills coach for Pontypridd RFC and a performance coach for Pontypridd Schools Dewar Shield Team.”
“This is another fantastic example of Pontypridd and USW once again working hand in hand to enable a professional rugby player who has decided to concentrate on his career after rugby”.
Not just any Fiji international dare I add… Blinkin’ Matawalu 🤯
— Peter Gillibrand (@GillibrandPeter) August 31, 2022
The Fijian international is an extremely exciting signing for the league and his quality is set to delight fans across the Premiership. Matawalu brings an X factor that not many players can, bringing international quality to Pontypridd.
It was also only last November that Nikola played for Fiji against Wales at the Principality Stadium in the Autumn Nations Series 2021 and the former Racing 92 star is set to bring a lot of experience and star quality to the squad.
Now Matawalu will be lining up against Wales’ best youngsters in the Indigo Premiership. But he is not the only international plying his trade in the league, he will join Tavis Knoyle, Adam Warren and Dan Baker.
All eyes will be on the Pontypridd v Cardiff game in the Premiership, which is being streamed on S4C Clic this weekend, as the local derbies kick the season off.