Melrose, the BT Premiership champions, have strengthened their squad with the signing of the outside-back Tito Mua, who is expected to fly in to Edinburgh today along with returning hooker Todd Pearce.
The 28-year-old Mua is from Sydney and has played for Australia Barbarians. He came close to winning a cap for Fiji against Scotland two years ago only to have been thwarted by injury. "Tito signed for Northampton a couple of seasons ago on the proviso that he was getting a Fiji cap against Scotland; he got injured in the build-up to that game and didn't get his cap, so Northampton couldn't sign him," said John Dalziel, the Melrose coach.
Mua plays at wing or outside centre and is expected to be in the Melrose squad to face Heriot's on Saturday in the BT Charity Shield. Melrose begin the defence of their title the following week.
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There was a strong indication, meanwhile, that Scotland's pacy winger Lee Jones is to clinch a long-term deal with Glasgow in the wake of rave reviews for his performances in the Commonwealth Games. Jones - who had been on loan to the Warriors from Edinburgh last term - was his nation's top scorer as they reached the quarter-finals at Ibrox.
Although a Glasgow spokesman refused to confirm a full contract for Jones had been sealed, there was a strong indication he would be signing when he was allocated to Stirling County in the pro-player Premiership club draft for the coming season.
The professional players from Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors and the Scotland 7s side were all drafted to clubs in the BT Premiership for the new league campaign yesterday. Six of the clubs were aligned to Edinburgh, four to Glasgow, with newly promoted Boroughmuir given first pick of the former and Stirling County the choicest selection from the west-coast side.
Elite Development players are not included, while first year professionals are automatically linked to the club from which they were signed.