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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 January, 2004, 14:27 GMT
Samoans make switch
Maurie Fa'asavalu (left) is congratulated after scoring a try at the World Cup
Fa'asavalu (left) is congratulated after scoring a try at the World Cup
Samoa internationals Maurie Fa'asavalu and Dom Feaunati have switched codes from rugby union to league by signing for Super League side St Helens.

Saints beat off competition from a host of English and French union clubs, including Biarritz, to secure two-year contracts with the World Cup stars.

The Pacific Islanders' arrival was hailed as a boost for the 13-man game.

"They are powerful and skilful - and will be tremendous for rugby league," said Saints coach Ian Millward.

Millward saw the pair during a talent-spotting trip to the World Cup in his native Australia.

Fa'asavalu, 23, was his country's top tackler at the tournament and will be used as a prop or second rower.

I had offers from other clubs, but Saints kept in touch with me all the time, whereas the others just wanted my signature
Dom Feaunati
Feaunati, 25, is a three-quarter, whose cousin Isaac plays for union club Bath.

Feaunati had a spell with Stourbridge during a holiday in England two years ago and has long hoped to play league after watching former St Helens favourites Fereti Tuilagi, Vila Matautia and Apollo Perelini.

"It's a dream to come true," said Feaunati.

"I'm following in the footsteps of Freddie, Vila and Apollo who I watched all the time.

"I had offers from other clubs. But when I was in New Zealand, Saints kept in touch with me all the time, asking me how I was, whereas the others just wanted my signature.

"This is a new family for me."

The newcomers are set to make their St Helens debuts in Sunday's pre-season friendly at Barrow.

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