Just one day after their opening win of the new season against the Cheetahs, the Melbourne Rebels have already added to their list after signing 26 year-old Japanese international Male Sau.
Born in New Zealand but of Samoan heritage, Sau played in the ITM Cup competition in New Zealand for Manakau before he moved to Japan in 2008 to play for the Yamaha Jubilo team. He scored 23 tries in 46 appearances for them, and has since adopted Japan as the nation he represents on the world stage, and has made 13 test appearances for the Brave Blossoms -- some of the them alongside fellow Rebels teammate Shota Horie -- and has scored seven tries.
Sau is a utility backline player and is suited to either the centres or flyhalf -- a position that is very hotly contested in the Rebels team. With Tamati Ellison and Mitch Inman putting in good performances against the Cheetahs on Friday night and pretty much locking away their spots at no.12 and no.13, the remaining position on the bench already involves the highly-rated talents of Tom Kingston, Alex Rokobaro and Angus Roberts. It is going to take a big effort from Sau to get past those names, but the advantage he has going for him right now is that he's at least 2-4 years more experienced than those three (dependent on their ages) and a slightly older head wouldn't be so bad in a young Rebels team, even if it is just off the bench.
What do you think of the Rebels new signing? Will he see himself on the team sheet as soon as this weekends game against against the Force?