Exciting Blues Winger Tevita Li will link with the Pulse Energy Highlanders from 2017. In a move that mirrors former Blues players Malakai Fekitoa and Waisake Naholo, Li will move south looking for an opportunity to move his career forward.
“Obviously I will always be grateful to the Blues for giving me start in Super Rugby. I have absolutely enjoyed my time with the Blues, however I am at stage right now where I think a move to a different club will provide me the kick start I need to move my rugby to another level. It was a difficult decision and one that I took a lot of time over. Moving out of my home town, down to Dunedin, will present me with some new challenges as a person and take me out of my comfort zone a little bit. It will definitely challenge me to be a better player” Li said.
Li made his debut for the Blues in 2014 at the age of just 19 and made a further 16 appearances that year. In the same year he was a member of the NZU20 team and in 2015 won a world cup championship. During the 2015 tournament Li scored a hat-trick against France becoming the highest try-scorer in tournament history. This year he has been the starting left winger for the Blues and has scored four tries.
Highlanders head coach in waiting Tony Brown was excited by the prospect of Li heading south. “Tevita is an exciting young player with a great deal of potential, we are delighted to have recruited him to the Highlanders. I think he will fit in well down here and complement the skills we already have in our outside backs. We are looking forward to working with him next year.”
Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said ‘fair to say three or four years ago players like Tevita may not have considered the Highlanders, but these days players carefully weigh up all their options and look to take the opportunity that best suits them at a particular stage in their career. Clearly the decision to shift clubs is never taken lightly but we have seen how well it has worked for some players in recent seasons. We are confident the shift will work well for Tevita and provide him with opportunities he is looking for to further his rugby career.”