The NSW Waratahs have bolstered their outside backs with the signing of Tevita Funa from NRL side the Manly Sea Eagles.
Funa has penned a one-year deal with NSW Rugby which will see him remain at Daceyville until at least the end of the 2022 Super Rugby season.
The talented outside back was Manly’s Rookie of the Year in 2020, scoring five tries in 12 NRL games in his debut season, and was also one of the standouts in their Premiership winning U20’s side in 2017.
Funa, an exciting attacking player with plenty of speed, equally at home at full-back, wing, and centre in the NRL, will provide plenty of options in the backs for the Waratahs in their 2022 campaign.
The former Sea Eagle was looking forward to the transition to the 15-man game and hoping to make his mark at fullback.
“I’m really excited about the challenge of changing codes and the chance for a fresh start. I played rugby when I was younger so am hoping that will help me with the adjustment,” Funa said.
“The Waratahs are one of the most iconic teams in rugby and I’m thankful for the opportunity they have given me.
“I’d love to chance my arm at fullback, but equally am happy to play on the wing or in the centres, I just love to get the ball in hand.”
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was excited to bring a player of Funa’s potential and temperament to the 15-man game.
“First and foremost, he ticked all the boxes from the character checks that we did on him. Tevita’s a very dedicated and focused player which is really important,” Coleman said.
“As a player he’s a good all-round package, he’s a big body, tall and good in the air, good speed and great footwork.
“He’s got a rugby background which should take him less time to adapt and coming out of a good program at Manly we know he’ll fit in as a professional.”
Funa, who grew up in Fairfield and attended Westfield Sports High, will represent the Western Sydney Two Blues in the Shute Shield competition.