Mesulame Kunavula: Edinburgh sign 'world-class' Fijian forward with 'x-factor'

Mesulame Kunavula celebrates with Fiji Sevens
Mesulame Kunavula won a Commonwealth Games gold medal with Fiji

Fiji Sevens forward Mesulame Kunavula has been hailed as a player with "world class" attributes and a "bit of an x-factor" as he signed for Edinburgh.

The 23-year-old has agreed a "long-term" contract with the Pro14 club.

Head coach Richard Cockerill said: "Mesu really stood out during his time representing Fiji on the Sevens circuit.

"His ability to beat a man, as well as offload in the tackle, are really world class."

Kunavula, who can play at both flanker and lock, helped Fiji finish the last World Rugby Sevens Series in first place, winning five out of 10 tournaments.

"We have been looking at adding players who offer something different - that bit of x-factor - and I certainly think Mesu brings that dynamic to an already talented squad," Cockerill said.

The Edinburgh head coach is confident he can adapt to the full game in a similar way to compatriot and fellow forward Viliame Mata, who joined Edinburgh in 2016.

"Like Bill before him, we're really looking forward to seeing how he can develop in a 15's environment and we're really hopeful that he can be a big player for us," he said.

Kunavula joined the police force while representing Fiji Under-20 in the early stages of his career before making his Sevens Series debut in 2016 and was named in the Fiji Sevens squad that finished with a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast.

The back-row, who was born in Tailevu, the same village in which Mata was raised, said: "Viliame is a good friend of mine and he has told me so much about the club and life in Scotland.

"I've really enjoyed my time on the sevens circuit, but I felt it was the right time to move abroad and develop my own game further. The facilities in Edinburgh are world class and I'm only going to improve as a player."