Glasgow Warriors: Club sign Italy back-row Samuela Vunisa from Saracens

Samuela Vunisa in action for Italy against Canada
Samuela Vunisa has won 11 caps for Italy, for whom he qualifies through residency

Glasgow Warriors have signed Italy back-row Samuela Vunisa on a two-year deal from Saracens.

The 28-year-old has 11 caps for his country, earning three of them during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Fijian-born Vunisa becomes Glasgow's seventh new signing for next season, as incoming head coach Dave Rennie looks to strengthen his squad.

Meanwhile, former New Zealand hooker Corey Flynn has left the club, despite having a year to run on his contract.

Flynn, 36, became the only Warrior to have won the World Cup when he joined Glasgow in 2016, having lifted the Webb Ellis trophy with the All Blacks in 2011.

Corey Flynn
Corey Flynn had a year left on his Warriors contract, but he has now left the club

The veteran made 16 appearances for the Scotstoun side, 11 of them from the bench, and scored three tries.

Vunisa, who qualifies to represent the Azzurri via residency, follows fellow back-row Callum Gibbins, prop Oli Kebble, Scotland centre Huw Jones, fly-half Adam Hastings, winger Lelia Masaga and academy midfielder Robbie Nairn in moving to Glasgow for 2017-18, subject to visa and medical.

The 6ft 4in back-row began his playing career in New Zealand, turning out for Taranaki in the provincial Mitre 10 Cup, before joining Italian club Calvisano, where he scored 19 tries in 48 appearances.

Vunisa went on to play 43 times for Glasgow's Pro12 rivals Zebre, before moving to the Aviva Premiership in 2015, where he has played 13 times for double-European champions Saracens, scoring six tries.

"It's really exciting, I enjoyed my time in the Pro12 before and I can't wait to get started with the Warriors," Vunisa told the Warriors website.

"Glasgow has made a name for themselves. Winning the Pro12 and reaching the quarter-finals in Europe shows that on and off the field it's a great club and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.

Oli Kebble in action for the Stormers against the Reds
Oli Kebble joins Glasgow from his South African club, the Stormers later this year

"Dave Rennie is a world class coach, he is respected in New Zealand and across the world. I'm looking forward to working with him as I know he'll get the best out of me."

Glasgow Warriors assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys added: "Samuela is a strong runner and ball carrier and will add to our depth in the back-row.

"He joins us form a winning environment and has played at the highest level on the international stage.

"We're delighted he has decided to join us and we look forward to seeing him continue to develop in Glasgow."

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