Thursday, 4th July 2019 @ 09:00
New signing Tevita Cuvabati honoured to sign for Harlequins
Fijian international Tevita “Tex” Cuvabati will join up with the Harlequins squad for the new season, having signed from former Gallagher Premiership side Newcastle Falcons.
One of 11 brothers, including Fiji prop Bill Cavubati, the 31-year-old made his professional rugby breakthrough with Tasman Makos in New Zealand’s ITM Cup, but admits that playing for Quins has always been an ambition of his.
“Harlequins is one of the biggest clubs in Rugby," he said. "I grew up in Fiji and I had heard of Harlequins and I had seen the jersey around the villages.
“It was something I had seen a lot of before I even came to England. It’s very famous in my country – everybody used to talk about the Club, before it was even on TV – so when I had the opportunity to come here, I was incredibly excited.
“I was coming to the end of my contract at Newcastle, and I heard that Quins were looking for a second row, so it was perfectly timed. I couldn’t ask to be involved in a better Club.
“Paul (Gustard) has a very good rugby brain. I’ve seen how the team has played this year and it was cool to watch. I think I will fit in well here and help make it a better side.”
Having played in the Premiership since the 2015/16 season, Cuvabati is aware of its challenges and has always been impressed by the way that Quins play their rugby.
“I’ve come up against Harlequins a few times since moving to England," he added.
"They have always been a very well-drilled side, but they’ve always had a bit of razzle dazzle, which I like. It’s one of those teams that doesn’t stick to script in the way that others do and that’s why my eyes lit up when I heard that I had the chance to play here.
“I’ve always wanted to play at The Stoop. I’ve missed my opportunity so far due to injury, so I’m really looking forward to be able to run out here in the Harlequins colours.”
A 23-times-capped international, with Rugby World Cup experience, Cavubati is keen to bring his seniority to the group, but also make the most of connecting with fellow Fiji international Semi Kunatani on the field.
"Fiji will always be in us and we cannot shy away from that," Cuvabati said.
"That is how we play and that’s how we express ourselves. Hopefully we can also integrate it with the Harlequins mindset.
"With a young squad, you have to remain cool because the younger players feed off the experienced ones. If you are chilled on the field and keep control, that will carry across. You must lead by example.
“We’ve got a very good group here. I think Paul has brought me here for a bit of aggression and a bit of beef. There are some big shoes to fill in this position but I’m sure I can come in and do a job."