Dragons land Somoan lock
TRANSFER NEWS: Samoan international lock Brandon Nansen has signed for Dragons on a two-year contract.
Nansen, 24, joins following a stint in the Top 14 with Stade Francais Paris, after beginning his senior career with New Zealand province North Harbour.
He quickly became a regular in the North Harbour side as they lifted the Mitre 10 Cup Championship in 2016 and his performances didn't go unnoticed at Super Rugby level as he was named as a member of the Blues squad for the 2017 season.
Nansen chose to represent Samoa, making his international debut against Romania last November but made his first steps on the high-performance ladder as a New Zealand Schoolboys representative in 2011. He was also picked for Auckland under-16s and under 18s, whilst attending Sacred Heart College in Auckland, a school with notable alumni including Sean Fitzpatrick, Sonny Parker, Xavier Rush and a number of other All Blacks.
"This is one of our most significant acquisitions for next season," said Jackman. "We've made no secret that we've been tracking a strong and aggressive ball carrying the second row, so we're delighted to confirm Brandon Nansen's signing as he fits the bill.
"I flew to Auckland 2 years ago to try and convince Brandon to come to France, but he was offered a Super Rugby contract with the Auckland Blues. We have stayed in contact and I am delighted to get him this time.
Brandon is a highly mobile lock with loads of potential and whilst not yet the finished article, at 6’6” and 18 stone I'm looking forward to seeing him give our pack power at the set piece, aggression at the breakdown as well as his mobility and go forward around the park.”
Nansen said: "I’m really happy to be joining the Dragons. It’s a new challenge to come and play in Wales, a proud rugby nation.
"I’ve come from Auckland to be here on the other side of the world, but I’m enjoying my rugby and getting a taste of what Europe is like. The rugby is different from back home, but I’m learning a lot and hopefully, I can bring my physical presence to the Dragons,"