Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Rising stars Leicester Fainga'anuku, Salesi Rayasi re-sign with NZ Rugby

  • 10/06/2021

Promising young Super Rugby stars Leicester Fainga'anuku and Salesi Rayasi have re-committed to NZ Rugby.

Utility Fainga'anuku has re-signed with the Crusaders, while wing Rayasi has extended his stay with the Hurricanes, both until the end of the 2023 season.

After starring for Tasman Mako during their victorious provincial championship last year, Fainga'anuku, 21, has been a standout for the Christchurch-based Super Rugby franchise, where he's been invaluable filling in for injured All Blacks Braydon Ennor and George Bridge.

The Nelsonian of Tongan heritage is one of four Crusaders to feature in all 13 games so far this season, with three tries to his name, and is considered a bolter for an international call-up this year.

"I realised that this club has invested a lot in me since the day I left school, and looked after myself and my family," says Fainga'anuku.

"Signing for the next two years is a way for me to give back, not just to the organisation itself, but my family and the people who believed in me to get to where I am today.

"The opportunities I've had this year have been amazing and I'm just looking forward to the challenge ahead."

All Blacks Sevens star Rayasi spurned the opportunity to play at the Tokyo Olympics, opting to build on his brilliant provincial form for Auckland and cement himself in the 15s format.

The blockbusting wing says remaining in the capital was the natural choice.

"To stay here at the Hurricanes, it just feels the right thing for me to do," says Rayasi. "I've enjoyed myself from the moment I arrived at the club and I want to be part of this squad moving forward. 

"We have a lot of competition for the wing spots at the moment and that’s proving to be really exciting for all of us."

Both players will start for their respective teams in this weekend's final round of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

Join us at 7pm Friday for live updates of the Hurricanes v Reds Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash