Tonga international Telusa Veainu back has been quite simply sensational since joining the club after the Rugby World Cup and has earned himself a new contract with Leicester Tigers to say beyond the end of the current season.
The 25-year-old Veainu made a try-scoring debut for Tigers in the home win over Wasps in November after starring for Tonga during the Rugby World Cup and has six tries in 11 appearances for the club.
His stunning football and brilliant rugby name has seen him go from a good wildcard signing to one of the first names on the team sheet, either at full back or on the wing.
Week-in, week-out Veainu has been amongst the top players in the Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup at beating players and making metres with the ball in hand.
Veainu said: “It’s been a real whirlwind year for me, leaving the [Melbourne] Rebels in Australia and playing for Tonga in the Pacific Nations and then the Rugby World Cup before joining Leicester.
“The coaches, the players and the supporters have been great to me since I arrived and I’m really enjoying my rugby here. It’s great to be a part of this squad and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.
“Looking back over the last few months, I like to think this is a way of showing that all the hard work has paid off. I see this as just the beginning for me.”
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Telusa has made a big impression on everyone here in his short time as a Leicester player. He is an exciting player, the supporters have really taken to him and we will look forward to seeing him continue to develop as part of the Tigers squad.”
Veainu started all four games for Tonga in the 2015 World Cup, scoring in the win over Namibia, after gaining his first caps in the Pacific Nations Cup earlier in the year.
He has had spells with Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay, Highlanders, Crusaders and Melbourne Rebels in the southern hemisphere before moving to Leicester.
Veainu follows colleagues Freddie Burns, Matt Smith, Adam Thompstone, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs and captain Ed Slater in extending terms at the club.