Newcastle Falcons sign Josh and Joel Matavesi for next season
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 20/02/17 4:10pm
Newcastle Falcons have signed Fiji international Josh Matavesi and younger brother Joel Matavesi for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Josh, who plays at centre, was part of the Ospreys side that beat the Falcons 26-21 in the European Challenge Cup last month.
The 26-year-old has already represented Fiji on 17 occasions and is set to sign for Newcastle after three seasons at the Liberty Stadium.
Joel, 21, currently plays at fly-half for National Two South side Redruth after spells with Exeter Chiefs and Ospreys.
French centre Maxime Mermoz will also join the Falcons for the start of next season and Josh Matavesi says he is relishing his move to the North East.
"I am really excited about moving to Newcastle and the vision Dean Richards has for the club," Matavesi told the club's website.
"That's what really sold it for me, the fact they are looking to play a very positive style of rugby with good players and good coaching.
"Working with Dave Walder as backs and attack coach is another big draw, and the fact they are employing an expansive offloading game.
"I was up at Newcastle with Ospreys only a few weeks ago to see everything first hand, and it's exciting to think about playing with top guys like Juan Pablo Socino and Maxime Mermoz, to name just a couple."
Matavesi is also looking forward to working with his younger brother at Kingston Park.
"He's a good player and a big unit," Josh Matavesi said. "He could be taking my spot in the team so I have to be careful, but he is finishing the season down at Redruth and I'm making sure he's in great shape for the start of pre-season.
"He spent some time at Ospreys but was unlucky to get cut with not being Welsh-qualified.
"Hopefully the fact I am here with him will help get the best out of him, but he is definitely a big talent and it will be great to share this experience together."
Newcastle's director of rugby, Dean Richards, is delighted to have secured the double signing before the end of the current campaign.
"Josh is a proven and versatile performer who fits our style of play and can go well into a number of positions, such as centre and fly-half," he said.
"I am sure our supporters will enjoy his flair and the impact he can make on the game, and then in Joel we have a very promising young talent who is looking to make the step up. It all points to very exciting times when we look at how the squad is coming together for next season."