FIJIAN back-row Mesulame Kunavula has been released from his Edinburgh contract to join Top 14 side CA Brive with immediate effect.
The 26-year-old joined Edinburgh Rugby from Fiji Sevens in 2019 and scored his first try for the club in a then-Guinness PRO14 match against Dragons at the Principality Stadium in March 2021. He made 23 appearance in total for the capital outfit but struggled amidst fierce competition in the back-row to nail down a regular spot in the match-day 23.
With established internationals such as Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining, Sam Skinner and fellow Fijian Viliame Mata on the books at Edinburgh, plus youngsters Ben Muncaster and Connor Boyle pushing through fast, the prospect of Kunavula getting regular game time in the future was remote.
“Mesu is a really talented player but with a number of young Scottish guys in the same position, and with the opportunity for more playing time in Brive, we both agreed it was best for him to move on to further his career,” said Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair.
“We thank Mesu for his hard work and commitment to the club. He’s been a hugely popular figure and moves on with our very best wishes.”
Kunavula added: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Edinburgh Rugby and I’ve made some friends for life – the boys here are all brilliant and made me feel at home since my first day in Scotland.
“Thank you to all the fans for their support. I’m proud to have represented Edinburgh and I’ll be following the team from afar for the rest of my career.”
Round-up: Franco Smith granted visa but could still miss Lions game
I always liked Mesu and felt he was better than he was given credit for. At times I thought he was a match for Mata but with such depth in the back row then its understandable he wants to move on. Good Luck to him at Brive.