Harlequins has announced the signing of England Women and former Bristol Bears Centre Lagi Tuima ahead of the 2019/20 season.
The niece of Fiji captain and former Gloucester Rugby back row, Akapusi Qera, Tuima first took up the game at the age of 16 with Devonport Services RFC, near Plymouth in Devon.
After a stint with Plymouth Albion Ladies, she was signed by Bristol Bears in the run-up to the 2017/18 Tyrrells Premier 15s season, after just two months of top-flight rugby.
Tuima made the first of her five international caps as a replacement against Canada as part of the 2017 Autumn series whitewash and made her Women’s Six Nations debut in the 2018 Championship as a replacement against Wales. She scored her first try against Scotland later in the tournament.
The Centre will join up with the rest of the Harlequins Women squad for their pre-season preparations.
On signing for the Club, Tuima said: “The move to Harlequins is an exciting one for many reasons. First of all, it’s the chance to play with an array of international talent, not just from England but also around the world. Secondly, it’s the opportunity to be a part of a family-orientated environment, and that really sold it to me as an organisation. In joining Quins, I can be part of something greater than myself.
“The quality and the professionalism of the set-up at Quins is something that I’m very much looking forward to being exposed to. It’s not just about the players but the staff as well, all of whom I’ve had a chance to meet. I’m a huge believer that if all is well off the pitch that you’ll see the results on it, I’m confident that Quins have the support structure in place to allow me to be the best I can be.
“Having the opportunity to work under the likes of Gary Street and Karen Findlay, with everything that they have achieved at domestic and international level, is something I’m very excited for, and the way they coach will help me develop effectively as a player.”
Harlequins Women Co-Head Coach Gary Street added: “The fact that another up and coming international player has signed for Harlequins is a real statement.
“Lagi plays with a refreshing creativity, and one that is akin to her Fijian heritage, especially in terms of her outstanding offload game. She is also one of the longest goal kickers in the game, which brings a whole new dimension to our attack.
“Her style of play compliments the talent we’ve already got here at the Club, especially the options we have in the back three, who will be able to benefit from her expansive passing and her ability to kick out of hand.”
Courtesy of Harlequins