LONDON, England-May 21: 8.38pm (Ealing Trailfinders News): Ealing Trailfinders have added USA Eagles international Andrew Durutalo to their squad for the 2017-18 season.
The back-row forward has played 15 times and scored four tries for the US and played three times at Rugby World Cup 2015, against Samoa, Scotland and Japan. He made his debut against Canada in 2012 and played his most recent appearances for the Eagles against Tonga in San Sebastien in November 2016.
The 29-year-old has also represented the USA at sevens and he was part of the squad that took part in the inaugural rugby sevens tournament at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
“I’m very excited to be joining Ealing Trailfinders and I’ve been following the progress of the team this season,” Durutalo said. “I’m eager to keep learning and fit into the Ealing Trailfinders environment and culture.
“I’ve always wanted to experience rugby in the UK after I finished playing Super Rugby and I’m very humbled and privileged to have this opportunity. I hope I can bring that experience with me and add to the Ealing Trailfinders style of play.”
Durutalo was born in New York City to Fijian parents – Simione and Alumita Durutalo – who were studying in the city at the time. The family returned to Fiji when he was young and he grew up playing rugby at Suva Grammar School.
He captained Fiji’s U19 and U21 teams and then earned a scholarship to attend Hakuah University in Japan. After appearing at the 2015 World Cup he went onto to play Super Rugby for the Sunwolves in Japan for the 2016 season.
He played for Northland in the Fiji Rugby Union competition and was also a triallist for the Flying Fijians for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
“Andrew is an extremely explosive back rower who can play in all three back-row positions,” Director of Rugby Ben Ward said. “He has a lot of experience from captaining Fiji U19’s, playing a season of Super Rugby to going to a World Cup with USA.
“Andrew will add to our current options and bring physicality to the back row. He has played a lot of sevens and his handling and contact skills are very good.”