Sharks sign Fijian rugby international

Alipate Ratini

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Back-line depth is crucial for any side, and the Sharks have strengthened their side by signing talented Fijian rugby international Alipate Ratini, on a one-year deal.

Ratini, who is the older cousin of Wests Tigers winger Marika Koroibete, has forged a strong reputation as a prolific try-scorer in the IRB 7's, and is a former Fijian sprint champion – clocking a best time of 10.90 seconds.

It was at a rugby sevens event in which the club first saw Ratini, with a club scout spotting him, before the club moved swiftly to sign him.

“One of our scouts saw him playing rugby sevens for Fiji in Newcastle,” Flanagan explained.

“It’s about giving him an opportunity. While he’s been playing rugby and rugby sevens, he has a rugby league background which will help with his transition.”

Ratini, who is not a loud talker, said that training is “very different” to that in which he has experienced in the past.

“We used to run 6 kilometres for training,” he said.

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