MELBOURNE: The Melbourne Rebels have strengthened their front-row options for the 2013 Super Rugby season after signing prop Pauliasi Manu from the Blues on a two-year contract.
Manu decided to leave the Auckland-based franchise in search of greater opportunities, having managed just five Super Rugby matches in the past two seasons while sitting behind veteran All Blacks loose head prop Tony Woodcock in the pecking order.
"I have learnt a lot from Tony and all my teammates and am proud of my time with Auckland and the Blues," said Manu.
"I am really looking forward to the opportunity to push for a starting spot."
Rebels coach Damien Hill was looking forward to the competition between the 24-year-old Manu, Nic Henderson and Eddie Aholelei for the starting loose head spot with Melbourne.
"Pauliasi has had strong ITM Cup form with Auckland this season and has had Super 15 experience," said Hill.
"In addition to his scrummaging, Pauliasi brings attacking skills and a competitive streak that is going to make the battle for starting loose head prop very exciting over the next two years."
The Rebels also signed flanker Scott Fuglistaller and utility back Jason Woodward from Wellington last month.